JOHANN GUTENBERG AND THE AMAZING PRINTING PRESS by Bruce Koscielniak

JOHANN GUTENBERG AND THE AMAZING PRINTING PRESS

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Koscielniak wowed with The Story of the Incredible Orchestra (2000); he is much less successful here. He opens with a scene at the library (the person at the desk has a bun and glasses, but at least she is using a computer). “Soooo <\b>many books,” he writes. He explains the origins of paper and of movable type in China and in Korea before Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press and movable type in Mainz, Germany, around 1450. Koscielniak’s watercolors are bright and engaging, but they, and the text, raise more questions than they answer. The Chinese and Korean figures are clearly Western; scribes in monasteries are those who did the copying of books, but there is no mention that they were monks or of the Church. There is also the moronic comment that “most people didn’t bother to learn to read because they had no access to books”—tossing aside the social history of literacy in a single line. The accompanying illustration is pretty feebleminded, too. Marginalia adds to the information, and the technical descriptions are good. Definitely not for the younger picture book crowd, however. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-26351-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003




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