Books by Sandro Natalini

WHAT CAME FIRST? by Sandro Natalini
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 8, 2009

This import's chaotic design and message are likely to leave younger readers more confused rather than less about life, the universe and everything. In garish, Stinky Cheese Man-style art and fits of text in wildly varying sizes and fonts, Natalini begins at the beginning with a simplistic (to say the least) picture of the Big Bang forming "an enormous ball of burning rock" that becomes our planet. Billions of years later, rain and chemical reactions create a "primordial soup" of tiny organisms that develop—as depicted in a wordless double gatefold of out-of-order scenes—into fish, dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and other mammals; a glimpse of rock art provides an oblique reference to humans. On to similarly superficial views of continental drift, evolution, extinction, the science of paleontology, Darwin and environmental issues. A perfunctory run-through of big topics far too weighty to be crammed into this slim, eminently skippable volume. (Informational picture book. 8-10)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

When Wolf decides he's "fed up with bein wicked all the time," he appeals to Red Riding Hood for help. Her re-education program—which includes bathing regularly, helping with chores and a vegetarian diet (Chilli Con Carrots, anyone?)—is so successful, however, that Wolf surges to the top of the Forest popularity polls, much to her literally red-faced annoyance. Baruzzi and Natalini cram a lot into this modestly sized pop-up, deploying such metaliterary tricks as loose letters in envelopes and a newspaper alongside a fabric apron and a rattly school bus as interactive elements. In art, design and story, it comes across as something of an Italian, pop-up hommage to the classic The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, to which kids will find it an amiably twisted alternative, along with its companion pop-up, The True Story of Goldilocks (ISBN: 978-0-7636-4475-8). (Pop-up/picture book. 6-10)Read full book review >