198. The Mysteries of Angkor Wat by Richard Sobol

The Mysteries of Angkor Wat: Exploring Cambodia's Ancient Temple by Richard Sobol (Canada) - (US)
Traveling Photographer series

Pages: 44
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 4, 2011
First Published: Aug. 23, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, travel, ancient history
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:
Nestled within the steaming jungle and terraced rice fields of Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world: the temple of Angkor Wat.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: I am fascinated with architecture and this looked like it would be a beautiful book.

The author, a photo-journalist, takes a short trip to Cambodia to visit and take pictures of Angkor Wat.  While there he meets up with an excited group of local children who agree to be his guides and show him around the vast temple ruins which the children have literally grown up using as their backyard playground.  The author is quite confident that he is getting a much lessor known tour than one a paid tour guide would have given.  In fact, he's sure tour guides probably don't even know about some of the places the children took him.  Written in the author's voice, as a travelogue to children but never down to them, the book has a very interesting and fun narrative.  But more engaging than the text is the photography.  Just stunning, with some unique views and a book that makes one linger on each page looking closely before wanting to turn to the next page.  A must have book for libraries and now I'm eager to take a look at Sobol's other books (some he's just the photographer), but especially the other books in this Traveling Photographer series.


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