What a cool book.
The book begins in the Stone Age around 10,000 BCE. The small settlement is along the banks of the river and we see people preparing animal hides a finding flint to make tools and weapons. This section of the world sees amazing changes from the First Farmers in 2,000 BCE to Viking Raiders in 900 CE, the Age of Elegance in the 1700s to a city of today.
Each period of time offers a detailed look at what a street would have looked like and what life would have been like for its citizens. Each part of the picture is labelled and many are highlighted at the bottom and top of the page.
For example, in the Medieval Village in the 1200s, the overall picture shows a beautiful stone castle, a windmill and fields behind the town, which includes stone and wood buildings along the river. A the top of the page, there is a piece of the larger picture, in this case people in the fields. We learn each of the villagers have strip of land in the three fields that surround the city. We also learn about the Market Minstrels who would entertain the crowds in the marketplace. You could then search the town picture looking for this character.
I have read a few books illustrated by Steve Noon and all his pictures are detailed so there is no shortage of things to see and search out. In addition, you are supposed to look for Henry Hyde on every page. Henry has a time machine, which allows him to visit each period of time to learn more about what it was like to live there.
I found every street in time fascinating. What is also amazing to me is the Roman Times in 100 CE where people had such a high standard of life and “futuristic” amenities. Then the Invaders came in at 600 CE, completely destroying the Roman way of life and going back in time to wooden buildings.
In the street view, you can see the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre and temple, which, even destroyed, were so beautiful and far superior to the buildings in this new time. I wonder if the people during that time wondered about those buildings and wished for something more.
A copy of this book was provided by DK for an honest review. The opinions are my own.