Lost City

Lost City

The Discovery of Machu Picchu

by Ted Lewin
Publisher: Puffin Books
Reprint, ©2012, ISBN: 9780142425800
Trade Paperback, 48 pages
Price: $8.99

Historical Setting: Peru

Caldecott Honor-winner Ted Lewin takes readers on a thrilling journey to the wilds of Peru in this story of Hiram Bingham, who, in 1911, carved a treacherous path through snake-filled jungles and across perilous mountains in search of Vilcapampa, the lost city of the Incas. Guided the last steps by a young Quechua boy, however, he discovered not the rumored lost city, but the ruins of Machu Picchu, a city totally unknown to the outside world, and one of the wonders of the world.

From School Library Journal

In 1911, Hiram Bingham and a team of archaeologists went in search of Vilcapampa, the legendary lost city of the Inca. In this picture-book account of that expedition, Lewin relates Bingham's journey from Cusco to the jungles of Peru and from there, led by a local child, to mountaintop ruins. The site wasn't Vilcapampa, but rather an isolated, impenetrable ancient city of temples, dwellings, plazas, and terraces connected by steep staircases. Distinguished double-page watercolor paintings capture the grandeur of the location, the monumental solidity of the Inca stonework, and the surrounding jungle. The final pages continue the story with information on the work involved in preparing the ruins for excavation and some initial findings and include a useful pronunciation guide to Spanish and Quechua words. Follow this title with Elizabeth Mann's Machu Picchu (Mikaya, 2000) for background on the people who built this city, and to learn what later excavations yielded.
Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. In 1911, a Yale professor in search of a lost Inca city was led to the site of Machu Picchu by local Indians. In this lavishly illustrated picture book, Lewin traces Professor Bingham's steps through the tangled mountain jungle to his exciting discovery. The language is graceful and uncomplicated, weaving in bits of background history along the way, and Lewin builds suspense at just the right pace: "They came to a grand stone staircase. Where could this lead? What else was here?" But it's the artwork that will really attract attention. Full-page watercolor spreads of the stunning vistas and thick forests contrast with dark, intimate views of Bingham inside homes and walking along walled city streets, searching for leads. A map of Peru and suggested further reading lists would have been welcome additions, but Lewin includes comprehensive notes that explain the excavation of Machu Picchu, as well as the primary sources he consulted. An exciting, eye-catching story for early elementary social studies units. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Did you find this review helpful?