Excellent for art lovers and for potential art lovers; both will be hooked by the search.




Art appreciation, taught with a puzzle element.

With an 11-by-15–inch trim size, this impressive volume opens to spreads almost 2 feet across, each featuring one piece of fine art. Outside every artwork’s border float 10 to 12 small circles, each circle reproducing a detail from that spread’s spotlighted piece. The charge to readers: locate each detail’s location in the full piece. Although this structurally recalls Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo, the chance to pore over high-quality reproductions of complex and varied masterpieces strongly elevates this search in both appeal and sophistication. Short essays at the end discuss the works’ genres, contexts, and media. There’s also an answer key. Of the 23 pieces, Jackson Pollock’s Convergence makes the hardest puzzle because of its complete abstraction and close, frenetic squiggles of paint; the others either are representational (the Aztec manuscript Codex Borbonicus; Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette) or feature distinct, identifiable shapes (Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, black-and-white and stunning in this big, glossy format). Each isolated detail appears slightly larger than in the main piece, enhancing understanding; for example, Jan Van Eyck’s Madonna with Canon van der Paele magnifies an eye, emphasizing that facial expression’s complexity.

Excellent for art lovers and for potential art lovers; both will be hooked by the search. (answer key, locations of art) (Nonfiction. 6-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61689-421-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.



A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)


Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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