Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY (For children ages 9 and up) by Chiu Kwong-chiu & illustrated by Design and Cultual Studies Workshop {Review & Giveaway}

The China Instituted an educational program about the Forbidden City. Included in this educational emphasis will be the publication of several books. Today we're looking at This Is the Greatest Place and In the Forbidden City.

Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life.

This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous foldout spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes.

My thoughts: Though done primarily in black and white line drawings with small touches of red or gold, the book is replete with exquisite detail and packed with historical information about China and the rule of Emperors through the centuries. What fascination!
This two-page spread shows detail of outer court. 

There are numerous fold-out pages offering vast and minute detail of the Forbidden City. I found it interesting to learn that areas are called by such names as: Between Home and Country, Hall of Mental Cultivation, Hall of Heavenly Purity, Gate of Lunar Essence.
This is a small portion of a two page spread in the book. Minute details are packed with information.

I think this book will primarily be of interest to those most connected to China by heritage, lineage, or location. But the interesting format and plethora of information can prick the interest of many and varied readers.
GIVEAWAY: One of Chat With Vera's readers has the opportunity to receive a copy of This Is the Greatest Place and also In the Forbidden City.  Begins February 3 & ENDS February 24 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of each book was provided by the China Institute In America to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review. Giveaway copies are also provided by The China Institute and will be shipped directly to the winner by The China Institute.


  1. The Great Wall and why was it there? sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

  2. No, I haven't visited China. But would love to. There and Eastern Europe.

  3. I haven't visited China yet though I have been very close, including Taiwan (which I guess is technically China), Hong Kong, Burma, Cambodia, and Malaysia where we live. China fascinates me because of the immense impact it has had on so many of the cultures of the world. I would love to include this book in our homeschool studies next year which will focus on Eastern Civilization with a big chunk on China! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!


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