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THE TAJ MAHAL by Elizabeth Mann


Wonders of the World

by Elizabeth Mann and illustrated by Alan Witschonke

Age Range: 9 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-931414-20-3
Publisher: Mikaya Press

The story of the Taj Mahal is widely known and many believe it to be a romantic tale: A 17th-century ruler of India, Shah Jahan, builds a monument and tomb for his beloved wife, whom he loses during the birth of their 14th child. But this exquisitely illustrated historical account takes the reader back hundreds of years before Shah Jahan to describe the rise of the wealthy and opulent Mughal dynasty and then to the brutal reign of Shah Jahan. He lived a contradictory life, killing three of his brothers to ensure his place on the throne, yet honored his dead wife (many rulers had multiple wives) by building a wonder of the world. The book also describes the painstaking creation of the Taj and includes a fold-out diagram, a glossary and timeline. Witschonke’s intricate illustrations capture the opulence and beauty of the art of the period and seamlessly blend with actual archival images. The text is a bit dry and not particularly child-friendly, but certainly thorough. (Nonfiction. 9 & up)