Although only forty-four pages, Raymond Bial’s well-written children’s history Nauvoo: Mormon City on the Mississippi River is much more than a history of Nauvoo. Bial, who is also an accomplished photographer, has illustrated the book with his own lavish photographs that capture the essence of “the city beautiful” and its surroundings.
Bial does not limit his history to a discussion of Nauvoo; in a few short pages, he addresses the broader sweep of early LDS history, including the First Vision, the founding of the Church, the subsequent development of the Church in Kirtland, the Missouri persecutions and the expulsion of the Saints, and the early settlement of Nauvoo. Bial’s summary of the Book of Mormon narrative is particularly well done, as is his discussion of Church teachings and doctrines. Apart from a few minor errors, his history is accurate, and he relates the events leading to the settlement of Nauvoo in a compelling manner.