Centurions on the Coffee Table

Between a handful of books on my own shelves and an abundance of library selections, our coffee table is brimming with resources on ancient Rome!

Centurions on the Coffee Table!


Ancient Rome:
By  Peter Connolly

I like this book.  It has the interest that Usborne and others similar capture, yet isn’t as visually overwhelming.  Through pictures and text Connolly provides glimpses into Ancient Rome that seem  particularly suited to a child’s eye-view.  This book has a special knack for providing the angle that will intrigue children.


Ancient Rome:
By Simon James

(A Dorling Kindersley–DK Eyewitness book) pictures of art and artifacts bring the text/captions to life.


Ancient Rome: Come and discover My World:
By Peter Chrisp

A “hands on” book full of activities.  Make a mosaic, a writing tablet, a drum, laurel wreath, or grape punch!


The Ancient Roman World: By Ronald Mellor and Marni McGee

This is part of the World in Ancient Times series.  It has textbook style comprehensiveness, while being engaging, and interestingly written.  Appropriate for even young adults, yet interesting enough to captivate my little ones.


The Best Book of Ancient Rome:
by Debra Murrell

I don’t know that this is the best book of ancient Rome, as the title brags, but it is very good!  Like the Peter Connolly Book, I prefer it even to the Usborne and DK books of similar scope, because it gives lots of visual interest (and great textual content) without being quite so cluttered.


The Bronze Bow
: by Elizabeth George Speare

Historical fiction of Jerusalem (under Roman rule) at the time of Christ.  Well written.  I’m considering doing this one as a read aloud.


Classical Rome:
By John D Clare

Somehow the use of actors and actual re-enactment photographs made this book disconcerting to me.  I’m not entirely sure why.  It really is nicely done, and the costuming is realistic.  Oddly, however, the whole book feels artificial and staged to me.


Detectives in Togas
: By Henry Winterfeld

There are a few issues I’ll discuss with the girls as they read this. such as the boys in the story consulting with soothsayer, but it is a fun and lively story.


First Facts about the Ancient Romans:
By Fiona Macdonald

Kendra immediately gravitated to this book when I pulled it from the library stacks.  I’ll confess I’m not entirely sure what about it appeals to her, as it seems not very different from the dozens of similar ones that I didn’t bother checking out.  (Not because anything was wrong with them, but simply to avoid redundance.)  Detailed (but not too busy) drawings are interspersed with text.  It does focus more on “how things worked” than many of the books, and would be of interest to a budding engineer who is fascinated with the underfloor heating, road construction, and other such aspects of Roman life.


Kids in Ancient Rome:
by Lisa Wroble:

This book (part of the Kids Throughout History Series, which I picked up at a great libraryanded.com sale) is great for my little ones.  Like the rest of the series, it provides only an overview, but is somehow “just right” for young students.


Leaders of Ancient Rome
(Series: Augustus, Cicero, Constantine, Julius Caesar, Nero)

Rich with information!  These are great references to read, and packed with information, yet the large, child friendly print, and pictures make them inviting.


Life in Ancient Rome: Silver Burdett Picture Histories
by Pierre Miquel

The girls were interested in the fancy braided Roman hairstyles depicted in the fashion section of this book.  I like the way this book is done.  Instead of brief captions and blurbs that many books feature, the text flows.


Pompeii…Burried Alive
by Edith Kunhardt

This “Step into Reading Book” is a nice easy read for Kendra, and yet still interesting enough for Kaira.  It is real without being horrifying, and does a great job combining history with science.


Read About Ancient Romans:
By Jay Cooper

This was another one that Kendra (who just turned five) immediately claimed during our library jaunt.  Indeed the nice bold print is nice for younger readers, and it gives a good overview for the younger elementary crowd.


Rome, in Spectacular Cross-Section:
by Stephen Biesty

Something about the detail of these drawings makes me dizzy!  The children are fascinated with them though, and the text is interesting.  Each finely drawn scene depicts busy life in great detail.  It can be used almost as a “Where’s Waldo” or “Eye-Spy” book.  Great for providing views of how the aquaducts, mills, and other things work.


Technology in the Time of Ancient Rome
by Robert Snedden:

A different (and fascinating) angle on life in ancient Rome.


Usborne Beginners: Romans:
By Katie Daynes

Aimed to the younger scholars, a slim and inviting book for beginning readers.  It keeps the subject interesting in typical Usborne fashion.


The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of the Roman World:
By Chandler, Taplin, and Bingham

The title pretty much says it all!  Usborne style, encyclopedic peak into Roman life.


The White Isle
by Caroline Dale Snedecker:

A historical fiction treat that also gives perspective on Roman life in Britain and Gaul


The World of the Roman Emperor
: by Peter Chrisp

This book focuses a little more political, governmental, and military areas of Roman life than the others of similar scope.  Well done with great pictures.

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4 thoughts on “Centurions on the Coffee Table

  1. I'm interested to try out the books you found less visually overwhelming than the Usborne/DK books. I find that a problem with them, too–there's just so many random little details that it's hard to actually remember any one thing.

    Queen of Carrots (My login still isn't working . . . grrrr!)

  2. Hi Dell! Looks like you are having so much fun being a joyful mother of children! And schooling looks fresh and exciting too! Your children are beautiful!

    Pam – www. xanga.com/Langhaven

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