Although its newspaper format makes this introduction amusing to read, the content is overbroad and superficial. Subjects from the early Phoenician explorers, through Columbus and Magellan, to tomorrow's explorations of mountains and the ocean floor, are presented as contemporaneously written news stories, along with advertisements and letters to the editor. The color artwork runs a gamut of styles. A time line is included. Ind.
Cast as one of a 3,000-year-old newspaper's series of retrospective issues on particular topics, this gathers fabricated interviews, memoirs, on-the-scene reports, obituaries, and even advertisements ("KEEP ON COURSE: Has your compass been letting you down?") for a peculiar view of the history of Earth's exploration, from the Polynesian expansion 2,500 years ago to Jacques Piccard's 1960 descent into the Marianas Trench. Although Sacajawea, Mary Kingsley, Chang Chi'en and Seedy Mubarik Bombay join the usual cast of adventurers, the information here is all thoroughly recycled, and sometimes questionable--Peary may never actually have reached the North Pole, for instance--while the approach is quaintly Eurocentric: All dates are in B.C. or A.D., there are no non-European explorers on the world map, and Livingstone "was the first explorer to . . . see the Victoria Falls." With well-leaded texts and full-color illustrations, the pages look nothing like a newspaper's, but that's not the only time the conceit falters.
Gr 4-7--These "special edition" newspapers present factual information in fictionalized, condensed news capsules with first-person accounts, interviews, announcements, letters to the editor, cartoons, and humorous advertisements for such items as live-ant wound closers, Inuit winter wear, handmade mechanical arms, urine bottles (pee pots), leeches, cholera kits, and baths for a Roman villa. The books are colorfully illustrated throughout, with drawings covering the earlier time periods and photographs for more modern coverage. Lively headlines such as "Cortes Conquers," "Terror Sweeps Europe" (about the Black Death), and "Escape from Death" (use of penicillin to save lives in World War II) entice readers into the articles. The journalistic format makes these titles less useful for reports, although they are great for creating interest and providing an overview. Good choice for curious browsers.--Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL