Published by Grosset and Dunlap
Summary: Starting with the answer to the question in the title (China), the book explores how and why the wall was built within the context of Chinese history. In addition to the main narrative, there are many single-page sidebars that contain information on relevant topics such as Confucius, making silk, and Chinese inventions. Liberally illustrated with simple black line drawings, the text covers the history of the Great Wall from the construction of the first walls around 4000 B.C. to Deng Xiaoping’s ambitious plans to restore the Wall at the end of the twentieth century.
Pros: This is one of a fabulous series of books published by Random House. There are many, many excellent biographies in the “Who Is” series, and now there are “What Is” and “Where Is” titles that cover mostly U.S. history, but also some world history. Filled with kid-friendly facts such as: if the Great Wall were in the U.S. it would stretch from Florida to the North Pole, and over a million Chinese workers died while building the Wall.
Cons: The world timeline at the end could be a little more complete to show what was going on in the rest of the world during important Chinese events.