Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys.



A world tour featuring select highlights of human culture, from 37,000-year-old rock paintings to modern murals and architecture.

Title notwithstanding, after a visit to the prehistoric petroglyphs at Nawarla Gabarnmung in northern Australia (and with a 19th-century stop at Haida Gwaii for a gander at Pacific Northwest Native woodcarving), Rosen focuses more on cities or large settlements and urban ways of life through the ages than on specific works or styles of art. His itinerary is determinedly “global,” though, covering every continent but Antarctica from 13th-century B.C.E. Thebes to art and architecture created for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Each stop along the way opens with an overview of the site and its distinctive character accompanied by a wide-angle picture painted by Dalzell and dotted with tiny clipped photos of statues or other figures. On the following spread further concise observations on customs and culture accompany three or four smaller (sometimes, alas, minuscule) photos of significant monuments, artifacts, or paintings with explanatory notes. Though the author hustles readers past the Rosetta Stone and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man without benefit of visuals, a satiric Egyptian papyrus offers an eye-opening treat—and in more recent times he boosts the presence of women among his sparse tally of artists by, for instance, pairing works of Judith Leyster and Rembrandt, Mary Cassatt with Claude Monet.

Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65101-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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From the Marigold Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Cold indeed is the heart not made warm by this bubbly fairy-tale romance. Raised by a kindly forest troll, Christian knows little of the world beyond what he can see through his telescope, but gazing upon a nearby castle, he falls head over heels for Princess Marigold. What chance has he, though, as a (supposed) commoner? When at last he nerves himself to send her a message via carrier pigeon, she answers and the courtship is on—via “p-mail” at first, then, after he lands a job as a castle servant, face to face. Setting numerous fairy-tale conventions just a bit askew, Ferris (Of Sound Mind, 2001, etc.) surrounds her two smart, immensely likable teenagers, who are obviously made for each other, with rival suitors, hyperactive dogs, surprising allies, and strong adversaries. The most notable among the last is devious, domineering Queen Olympia, intent on forcing Marigold into marriage with a penniless, but noble, cipher. The author gets her commonsensical couple to “I Do” through brisk palace intrigue, life-threatening situations, riotous feasting, and general chaos; Queen Olympia gets suitable comeuppance, and the festivities are capped by the required revelation that Christian is actually heir to the throne of neighboring Zandelphia. Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales will be in familiar territory here, as well as seventh heaven. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-15-216791-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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Bottom line: Stimulating for math geeks and proto–math geeks, more confusing than enlightening for the rest of us.


This breezy look at the tools, techniques, uses and universality of mathematics doesn’t add up to more than a muddle.

Patel begins by nonsensically arguing that since math is dependent on formal proofs and “beauty” (rather than evidence and experiments, which “don’t count for much”; take that, Galileo!), it’s not a science but “more like an art.” The author proceeds, however, to demonstrate the opposite by tracing its development through history as a tool for measurements and calculations that have promoted our understanding of the physical universe. Following opening chapters introducing number systems, primes, sets, zero and infinity, he whirls past types and uses of graphs and tessellations, imaginary numbers, algorithms, chaos theory, Newton’s laws of motion and more in single-topic spreads crowded with cartoon illustrations and boxed passages in high-contrast colors. Along with careless errors, such as twice misspelling Prussia’s capital and equating yards with meters in a measurement, the author delivers minidisquisitions on Menger sponges, Euler’s number and other curiosities that are unhelpfully vague, dizzyingly technical or both. Furthermore, on different pages he offers different etymologies for the term “mathematics,” and one of the several “Try this at home” demonstrations contradicts an adjacent claim that humans are bilaterally symmetrical.

Bottom line: Stimulating for math geeks and proto–math geeks, more confusing than enlightening for the rest of us. (glossary, perfunctory index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: July 30, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7534-7072-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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