Superficially, it may be hard to conceive of the magic of spices. Yet pepper and cinnamon, herbs and nutmeg, mustard and thyme have been the focal points for exotic adventure through the ages. The author retells the stories of Marco Polo and Vasco de Gama, of the discovery of the ""pepper islands"", of the marauders who survived the black plague by drinking a spice beverage. The ""thread of spices"" follows a fascinating route through history and around such faraway lands as China, Baghdad, Ceylon, as well as the countries of Europe. How spices reach our kitchens today brings the story up to date. The author's dramatic black and white illustrations are even more interesting than his informative text which approaches history from a new vantage point for elementary graders who wish to supplement their school reading.