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Brightly illuminates a brilliant and multitalented yet unjustly obscure scientist.

An introduction to Santiago Ramón y Cajal, an artist and medical researcher who made a crucial discovery about how our nervous systems work.

Iverson drafts a portrait of a visionary Spanish scientist who, compulsively drawing and painting from childhood on but compelled by his father to study medicine, was therefore well equipped to see patterns in networks of neurons and axons that others could not. He described and depicted them well enough to change scientific thinking on the way to earning a Nobel Prize in 1906. Lozano incorporates numerous examples of his subject’s actual artwork into scenes of a determined-looking lad in short pants finding ways to make art (with pen, brush, and, later, a camera) in the face of opposition from both his father and his teachers. Later, as an adult, he translated images seen through a microscope into complex but lucid arrangements of cells and connections. Along with more information about nerve cells’ structures and functions, the author offers readers further details about the life and accomplishments of, as she dubs him, the “Father of Neuroscience,” in an afterword—including an amusing anecdote about how his co-Nobelist, Camillo Golgi, spent most of his acceptance speech at the ceremony arguing that his colleague’s theories were wrong. Some nerve!

Brightly illuminates a brilliant and multitalented yet unjustly obscure scientist. (bibliography, photographs) (Picture-book biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9781536224535

Page Count: 40

Publisher: MIT Kids Press/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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In no particular order and using no set criteria for his selections, veteran sportscaster Berman pays tribute to an arbitrary gallery of baseball stars—all familiar names and, except for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, retired from play for decades. Repeatedly taking the stance that statistics are just numbers but then reeling off batting averages, home-run totals, wins (for pitchers) and other data as evidence of greatness, he offers career highlights in a folksy narrative surrounded by photos, side comments and baseball-card–style notes in side boxes. Readers had best come to this with some prior knowledge, since he casually drops terms like “slugging percentage,” “dead ball era” and “barnstorming” without explanation and also presents a notably superficial picture of baseball’s history—placing the sport’s “first half-century” almost entirely in the 1900s, for instance, and condescendingly noting that Jackie Robinson’s skill led Branch Rickey to decide that he “was worthy of becoming the first black player to play in the majors.” The awesome feats of Ruth, Mantle, the Gibsons Bob and Josh, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and the rest are always worth a recap—but this one’s strictly minor league. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4022-3886-4

Page Count: 138

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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From the Sterling Biographies series

A spirited biography untangles the accretion of myth and story around Pocahontas and makes clear what little is actually known and what fragments of the historical record are available. The text is rich in illustration and in sidebars (on longhouses, colonial diet, weaponry and so on) that illuminate the central narrative. Whether Pocahontas saved John Smith’s life directly or as part of an elaborate ritual might not matter, argues Jones. Pocahontas and her people were certainly responsible for keeping the English settlement of Jamestown from starvation. Relations between English settlers and Native people were uneasy at best, and the author traces these carefully, relating how Pocahontas was later kidnapped by the British and held for ransom. When none was forthcoming, she was converted both to English ways and the Christian religion, marrying the widower John Rolfe and traveling to England, where Pocahontas saw John Smith once again and died at about the age of 21. An excellent stab at myth busting and capturing the nuances of both the figure and her times. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 9-12)


Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4027-6844-6

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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