Although the book primarily reinforces the Western art history canon, readers will happily breeze through Hodge’s creative...



Readers are treated to a whirlwind tour of art history from prehistoric art to new media.

The guide is divided into six sections (an introduction to the very basics, then the history in five chapters from early art to contemporary), and each section includes an introductory glossary. Of the 27 art movements detailed (ancient Greek, northern Renaissance, baroque, postimpressionism, etc.), only four are expressly not of a European or American tradition: prehistoric art, ancient Egyptian, Aztec, and Ukiyo-e. Each double-page spread includes a 30-second rundown of the art movement, a small reproduction of at least one exemplary piece of art, a “3-second sum-up,” and a “3-minute” creative exercise, leaving pages busy but never overwhelming. Cheery mixed-media illustrations create engaging scenes surrounding the famous exemplars: For example, Robins illustrates Van Gogh in the act of painting Sunflowers juxtaposed with a scene of museum visitors examining a reproduction. The visual depiction of real-life artists is almost exclusively of white men, but Robins does include a diversity of skin tones and implied genders in the more general illustrations. One image of a Plains Indian in stereotypical headdress and war paint (the only American Indian presence) is placed next to a garbage can in a most unfortunate combination. A list of resources to “discover more” includes age-appropriate fiction and nonfiction titles, apps, and websites.

Although the book primarily reinforces the Western art history canon, readers will happily breeze through Hodge’s creative introduction and, hopefully, be inspired to seek out more art history knowledge. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78240-608-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Ivy Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.



A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)


Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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