Gr 5-8 -These overzealous surveys attempt to tell the story of different cultures through their arts. Nichols and Steele trace the cultures from their introduction to the Americas to the present; Toor follows the spread of Islam across Spain, northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. All three books introduce paintings, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, pottery, textile art, printing, and literature in the process. It seems that the authors identify historical events in an effort to place the various individuals producing art in a particular context; however, with minimal information and little attempt to explain the significance, readers are left with many questions. Reproduced images of some artworks are provided, as well as some photographs of various artists. However, the art does not always appear on the page with information about the artist. Sidebars provide interesting material but they do not always extend what's on the page. An interesting idea, but not well executed.-Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA[Page 160]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.