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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Will no doubt raise a few hackles, but Pitino's tale of doings on and off the court will be the most discussed basketball...

Star basketball-coach Pitino's candid and emotional account of the Kentucky Wildcats' revival from sanctions and probation in 1989 to the dramatic at-the-buzzer loss to Duke in the NCAA semifinals earlier this year.

The former New York Knicks coach, with the aid of Weiss (coauthor, Time Out, Baby!, 1991), tells how he took a disgraced 14-14 team to the Final 8 in just two seasons. The ``year'' he refers to (1991-92) does not begin until after Pitino ramblingly describes his unhappy tenure with the Knicks; discusses Kentucky's recruiting violations; writes of Adolph Rupp and the school's proud basketball heritage; and settles a few scores with rival coaches and the New York media. But once he begins to write about players such as up-and-coming sophomore forward Jamal Mashburn and gritty seniors Sean Woods, Richie Farmer, John Pelphrey, and Deron Feldhaus, Pitino offers an engaging game-by-game account and an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at big-time college basketball. The coach makes no excuses when describing bitter defeats such as the 107-85 drubbing by Tennessee on ESPN, or the upsetting 79-62 loss to lowly ranked Florida. The emotional ``Senior Day'' revenge victory over Tennessee, beating rival Louisville, and Jamal ``Monster Mash's'' 30 points against UMass in the semifinals are but a few of the high points in the 29-7 campaign. The season ends in style with a great seesaw, overtime battle as Christian Leattner, star center of eventual champion Duke, hits a jumper at the buzzer.

Will no doubt raise a few hackles, but Pitino's tale of doings on and off the court will be the most discussed basketball book of the season. (B&w photos—eight pages—not seen.)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-931-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1992

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