Pompeii Lost and Found is a nonfiction picture book for children in grade 4 and up. It begins with an explanation of the devastation of Pompeii by the volcanic explosion of Mount Vesuvius. The book leads us through the archaeological discoveries of an entombed city. It explains the artifacts and what they mean with regard to the life of the historic city. There is just enough information at each page to pull the reader through the book. It is written in a style sure to intrigue all readers and is filled with juicy tidbits such as, “They’ve also found graffiti written about gladiators, such as ‘Celadus, glory of the girls, heartthrob of the girls.'”
Bonnie Christensen’s amazing illustrations given air of authenticity to the book. She adapts the style of her art to the subject matter once again by creating genuinely frescoes to tell the story of Pompeii. In Italy, the artist learned how to paint pure pigment mixed with water on wet plaster, like the ancient Romans, creating a fresco. She explains the process in a note at the end of the book. As we turn the pages, it feels as though we have walked into an ancient city. The texture of the frescoes is authentic and fascinating.
Children, and adults, of all ages will learn from and enjoy this exceptional book. Highly recommended.