|History of the Sword (Dover Coloring Book Series).
By Bruce La Fontaine. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc. [31 East 2nd Street, 11501. 1-800-233-3130 for orders], 1998. Paperbound. 44 Pp. ISBN Number 0-486-40139-1. $2.95 plus shipping and handling.
History of the Sword is a new publication for kids, but it covers a history of nearly 5000 years. In recent times, swords have become less significant as a fighting weapon; however, their importance spans much more than just weaponry.
Each of the 44 ready to color illustrations display this with captions carefully researched to match. Metallurgical ages generally parallel the timeline of sword development. Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages are all chronicled with the warriors shown wearing armor of these ages and are a clue to proper coloring.
Five color illustrations on the front and back covers depict proper tones of clothing, body armor and related background scenery. This is an outstanding teaching tool and may lead readers to further pursuit of the historical reference in the text.
The illustrations feature a large drawing of each sword with tastefully bold lines to differentiate shapes and allow easier coloring. Beginning with a bronze Sumerian sword and scene from 3000 B.C. and ending with a Rough Rider A.D. 1898, extravagant costumes accompany the portrayal of fine metalwork embodied in the swords.
More than a simple coloring book, "History of the Sword" tells many wonderful tales of exotic lands.
Reviewed by David W. Wilson