LOST CITY by Ted Lewin

LOST CITY

The Discovery of Machu Picchu
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Magnificent watercolor landscapes and mystical hooey form the high and low points, respectively, of this tale of archaeologist Hiram Bingham’s discovery of the Incan city of Machu Picchu in 1911. Drawing heavily, according to an author’s note and bibliography, on Bingham’s own accounts of the expedition, Lewin creates in Bingham a protagonist consumed by wonder and driven by determination to discover a rumored lost Incan city. As he pushes further and further into the Andes, the full-bleed illustrations open up a glorious world of rushing rivers and jungled mountains, until he uncovers, with the aid of the indigenous farmers, Machu Picchu itself. Unfortunately, the narrative relies on invented dialogue and, even worse, a fictional character, based on a boy mentioned in Bingham’s accounts, who foresees Bingham’s arrival in a dream. These sequences stretch credulity past the breaking point and beg the question, why doesn’t the author trust the spirit of discovery enough to allow it to carry readers along? The story ends abruptly, with the discovery of the lost city; a further note describes the subsequent excavation. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23302-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2003




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