POMPEII by Mary Pope Osborne
Kirkus Star


Lost and Found
Age Range: 6 - 10
Email this review


Frescoes illustrate this lovely reconstruction of life—and death—in the ancient city of Pompeii. The straightforward narrative opens with the city’s destruction by the eruption of Vesuvius and then fast forwards to its discovery by archaeologists and the painstaking reconstruction they have made of the lives of its inhabitants. Osborne takes care to ground surmise in the physical evidence, adducing such kid-pleasing detail as graffiti honoring gladiators and the discovery of petrified loaves of bread in bakers’ ovens. Christensen’s frescoes—what better medium could she have chosen?—depict Pompeii in both life and death, her design allowing most spreads to juxtapose recreations of Pompeian activities against a picture of a piece of substantiating evidence—a Roman lady in her garden appears with representations of ancient tools, and so on. Captions engage readers in a game to identify the purposes behind such objects, with the answers found at the back. It is of necessity an introductory treatment, but what a lovely introduction it is, and it will whet readers’ appetites for more in-depth examinations such as James Deem’s Bodies from the Ash (October 2005). (note on frescoes) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-82889-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2005

Kirkus Interview
Mary Pope Osborne
January 6, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour is beloved children’s writer Mary Pope Osborne’s latest entry in the Magic Tree House series and it features Jack and Annie’s most dangerous mission ever. The magic tree house has taken Jack and Annie back in time to England in 1944. England is fighting for its life in World War II. Before long, Jack and Annie find themselves parachuting into Normandy, France, behind enemy lines. The date is June 5. Will the brave brother and sister team be able to make a difference during one of the darkest times in history? “It appears there is nowhere Osborne’s Magic Tree House cannot take readers, as this successful foray suggests,” our reviewer writes. View video >


ChildrenDANGER IN THE DARKEST HOUR by Mary Pope Osborne
by Mary Pope Osborne
ChildrenSLEEPING BOBBY by Mary Pope Osborne
by Mary Pope Osborne


ChildrenA SINGLE PEBBLE by Bonnie Christensen
by Bonnie Christensen
ChildrenI, GALILEO by Bonnie Christensen
by Bonnie Christensen
ChildrenPLANT A LITTLE SEED by Bonnie Christensen
by Bonnie Christensen
ChildrenTHE PRINCESS OF BORSCHT by Leda Schubert
by Leda Schubert