China (DK Eyewitness Books) Review

China (DK Eyewitness Books)
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China (DK Eyewitness Books) ReviewThe last few Eyewitness books purchased for my school library contained a CD of clip art and a poster. I guess DK wanted to kick it up a notch by adding those items to their already superlative publications!
The lay-out for "China" is perfect and the first I've seen in an Eyewitness country book. After the introductory artifacts--flag, bamboo, calligraphy, kung fu stance, moon cakes, and children, laughing Buddha, yin yang, fashion (in China?)--then begins the first two pages of text--and this is what is so clever.
"The day begins..." The last two pages? "The end of the day...." In between are 54 pages of all imaginable topics identifying traditional China and evolving, modern China. Tai chi in the park by the hundreds to stretch their way into the day, while school children bustle off to their expensive educations.
Think China and 90% of people come to mind--the ethnic identity of Han, but there are 55 other ethnic groups. The Chinese comprise the oldest continuous civilization on earth, but Mao Zedong changed imperial China into Communist China. One sculpture at the end signifies his influence: a massive gray arm and shoulder over-riding the environment, but broken nevertheless.
Mandarin is the national language by which Chinese can communicate, as they speak hundreds of dialects throughout the country. Citizenship, fashion, hutongs and high-rises, home life--Many families live in one-room apartments. Transportation, manufacturing, daily markets, all are part of big city life.
Food, family life, religion and spirituality, festivals, education (took a 10-year loss during Mao), media, science, technology, cinema, sports--the book is fairly exhaustive in topics, but, of course, lacks in depth
Then the day ends, but not the book. Mapping China. I read recently that China has one time zone. According to this map, China spans five, but keeps its clocks at the same time as Beijing. A Timeline is next, then Famous Chinese, a glossary, and an index.
If you have never paged through an Eyewitness book, may I invite you to go to your local bookstore and buy one on a topic of choice or get one from Amazon. Or borrow one from your local library. Eyewitness books have been described as "a museum in a book."China (DK Eyewitness Books) Overview

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