Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova

Can you name the seven wonders of the ancient world?

I’m a bit chagrined to admit that I indeed struggle. Somehow, I always seem to forget about the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus…

If you’re like me, or you have young readers in your life who are curious about the ancient world, How the Wonders of the World Were Built, which I received for review from NetGalley, provides a lovely visual and narrative tour of the seven monuments, aka “the seven wonders of the world.” The book opens with a perspective-generating introduction that prompts readers to think about creative impulse and execution. Accompanying illustrations bring readers from the ancient world into the present.

Each of the seven entries provides information about the monument’s history and construction. Visual images supplement the narrative with macro and micro perspectives, including maps, depictions of the monument at various stages of completion, and annotated details.

I especially appreciated that the narrative voice strives to speak not only from the present but also from within the ancient world, providing young readers an opportunity to empathize with a human impulse to be remembered through creative acts. The art design’s strong lines and vibrant colors capture the narrative’s enthusiasm and poignancy.

If I could only visit one of the lost wonders, I think I would choose the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. How about you?

4 thoughts on “Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova

  1. This sounds like a really cool book – I love learning about history like this! As for your question, I’m going to be boring but honest: I’ve always wanted to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza and hope that I will get to do that one day.

    But if I had to choose a Great Wonder that’s no longer around, I think it would be really cool to sail beneath the Colossus of Rhodes!

    1. Yes to visiting the pyramids AND to sailing under the Colossus! I was in Rhodes a few years ago and wished I could know where it was located definitively. But really, all of them sound awe-inspiring in their own ways. 🧡

  2. It would be tough to choose only one for sure! I think I would have to go with the statue of Zeus in Olympia. There would be so much more I would want to see there too of course.
    I can’t name them all either, I think off the top of my head I got 4 or 5 out of 7, but I’m not positive my memory is correct.

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