A photographer explores the ancient Cambodian temple and modern Siem Reap looking for odd angles, surprises and reflections of today's world in the ancient carvings.
As promised, except for a few traditional postcard images, these photographs are unusual and often feature the children who sell fruit and souvenirs at the monument gates and play among the 1,000-year-old ruins. The centerpiece is a photo album of modern Cambodian life with accompanying images of ancient carvings showing similar activities. Sobol weaves a brief explanation of the Khmer Empire and their ruined temple complex into his travelogue. He visits a dance studio, where he sees students practicing traditional gestures just like those of dancers on the temple walls, and a school where youngsters learn English. At the end, these children lead Sobol past the ancient trees and stone rubble in Ta Prohm to a surprising carving, their favorite. While not quite the secret Sobol portrays, since photographs of this curious creature have been available on the Web for several years, this image is sure to appeal to child readers as much as it does to visitors.
Part of Sobol’s Traveling Photographer series, this useful introduction to a famous tourist destination has unexpected child appeal. (facts, glossary, unlabeled world map) (Nonfiction. 8-11)