Giles Laroche´s numerous books are magical, and this is one of his best. It is also educational, with a clear and well written text by Philomon Sturges.
There is a short explanation of the great religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and 26 descriptions of the places depicted. A useful world map is on the final page, so one can see exactly where these Sacred Places are.
I have had the privilege of seeing Mr. Laroche´s work in a gallery setting, and marveled at its intricacy and inventiveness; his skill in using paper as an art medium is unparalleled (he calls his technique ´´paper relief´´), and as I work with similar tools as a collage artist, I am in awe of his mastery.
The reproductions in this book are excellent, with good color (the tiles of the Dome of the Rock are gorgeous !), and Mr. Laroche´s sense of perspective is also wonderful; I found the overview of the Kaaba spectacular and startling, as I never envisioned it as being in the midst of a city. The large vista of Jerusalem is also fabulous, but so are the smaller, simpler pieces, like the Wailing Wall and the Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos, which are two of my favorites.
Children of all ages will be enchanted with this book, for its instructive content, and its whimsical, exquisite art.