EW Staff
December 19, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

As kids get dumber and dumber watching too much junk TV, children’s books are getting smarter and smarter. Like this one: Caldecott Medal winner Macaulay writes and illustrates the fictional story of Admiral Suha Mehmet Pasa and Akif Agha, two 16th-century blokes out to build an Ottoman Empire mosque — complete with elaborately detailed floor plans, diagrams, and character portraits. Quick, moms and dads — what’s a medrese, a turbe, a hamam, and a cesme? Junior will be eager to school you.

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