As an elementary school kid, I checked out this book ( and Robin Place's The Celts) from the library over a dozen times to stare at the illustrations. The illustrations are all drawings in color, very vivid and full of detail and human emotion. Of course it isn't great art--but it sure could set a kid's imagination on fire. There is on illustration of a trader leaving on an expedition, turning back to wave at his family standing by their home. It is full of illustrations like these, that are very easy to relate to. As a 10 year old, the pictures really made me realize history was "real" and that people back then were human just like us.
Actually, I was more inspired by these drawings then by the more glitzy DK Eyewitness series. The Eyewitness series is all photographs of artifacts or dressed up actors standing stiffly with emotionless faces...so it doesn't make history feel alive at all. These illustrations do. The drawings are still stuck in my head, more than a decade later. Also, check out Robin Place's The Celts (MacDonald Educational People of the Past Series), those drawings are even more poignant.