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An engaging, enlightening interpretation that will lead readers young and old to clearer observation and deeper thought.

An adaptation of Herman’s Visual Intelligence (2016).

This creative reimagining from a renowned art historian and leadership trainer is divided into three sections (“How To See,” “How To THINK About What You See,” and “How To TALK About What You See”). Opening with a series of exercises to spark more active looking and increase readers’ powers of observation, the first section offers a fascinating discussion of psychological phenomena that can impede our ability to make accurate observations and how to circumvent those preconceptions. The second part focuses on organizing all those pieces of visual information and thinking through to gather as many clues and details as possible. The third section closes the circle by explaining how readers can use accurate, objective, precise language to convey their observations of the world to others. Written in a conversational tone and full of journal-style prompts (for instance, look at Edvard Munch’s The Scream and list everything you notice about it) along with longer-term practice exercises, this is a book to be revisited again and again. At each stage, readers are encouraged to become more aware of their initial assumptions and perceptions and the ways those reactions may be skewed or flawed, gently touching on unintentional but automatic biases and judgments. The thorough discussion of clearer, more effective communication transfers to many contexts, and Herman’s note to adult readers sets the stage for use of this book as a whole-family learning experience.

An engaging, enlightening interpretation that will lead readers young and old to clearer observation and deeper thought. (endnotes, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66590-121-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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This glossy, colorful title in the “I Want To Be” series has visual appeal but poor organization and a fuzzy focus, which limits its usefulness. Each double-paged layout introduces a new topic with six to eight full-color photographs and a single column of text. Topics include types of environmentalists, eco-issues, waste renewal, education, High School of Environmental Studies, environmental vocabulary, history of environmentalism, famous environmentalists, and the return of the eagle. Often the photographs have little to do with the text or are marginal to the topic. For example, a typical layout called “Some Alternative Solutions” has five snapshots superimposed on a double-page photograph of a California wind farm. The text discusses ways to develop alternative forms of energy and “encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles.” Photos include “a healer who treats a patient with alternative therapy using sound and massage,” and “the Castle,” a house built of “used tires and aluminum cans.” Elsewhere, “Did You Know . . . ” shows a dramatic photo of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but the text provides odd facts such as “ . . . that in Saudi Arabia there are solar-powered pay phones in the desert?” Some sections seem stuck in, a two-page piece on the effects of “El Niño” or 50 postage-stamp–sized photos of endangered species. The author concludes with places to write for more information and a list of photo credits. Pretty, but little here to warrant purchase. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-201862-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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