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In Focus by Libby Walden

Ten illustrators.
Ten subjects.
One fascinating book.

Looking at 101 wonders of the world from the outside, in, ten illustrators including Tracey Tucker, Thomas Pullin, Barbara Bakos and Chester Bentley, explore a subject in depth, in an attempt to provide unique perspective and ignite in kids, a curiosity for the world and our fascinating planet. 

From cutaways, to close-ups to cross sections, this interactive book is engaging and a pleasure to indulge in. Both parents and kids will enjoy learning about everything from famous landmarks to fruit, and the natural world, to vehicles. 

Close-Ups allow you to enjoy a fresh perspective by looking at the world from the outside, in. 

Cross Sections slice through 101 objects, animals, and buildings to reveal some extraordinary interiors. 

Cutaways allow the reader to reveal wonderful surprises. 

One of my favourites is the section on buildings of the world that includes the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, St. Basil's Cathedral and The White House. Did you know that the floor of the arena in the Colosseum was covered in sand that was often dyed red to hide any unsightly blood spilt during the sacrifices or battles. There were also 36 trapdoors that were opened mid-event to allow wild animals or extra gladiators to enter the arena from the underground substructure below. 

Then, there's the majestic Taj Mahal, which was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 17 years and 20,000 artisan builders to complete this perfectly symmetrical marble tomb, built on the banks of the Yamuna River. The real tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan are actually inaccessible to the public, housed below the inner chamber. As beautiful as the Taj Mahal is, their actually final resting place is relatively plain, as the Muslim tradition forbids the decoration of graves. 

This super-sized book for middle graders is not as comprehensive in scope, but in the compact format, does its best to provide knowledge that is accessible, clearly illustrated, and easily digestible for a wide range of children.

Published by 360 DEGREES, an imprint of Tiger Tales
Distributed in Canada by Publishers Group Canada.