A historical overview of archery with a cut-in grip and sturdy plastic wings that unfold to form an actual bow—punch-out cardboard arrows and targets included.
Nayeri opens what he optimistically calls his “weapon of mass instruction” by arguing—rightly, if not exactly cogently—that a bow-shaped book is less dangerous than a bad or careless idea. He continues with a worldwide survey of archery in, mostly, war from ancient times on. Along with cartoon portraits of single archers and battle scenes featuring comically pin-cushioned soldiers, all diverse of skin color and in period dress, Jung adds simple depictions of various types of bows and arrows from many lands and eras. Following a final chapter on Robin Hood and other archers of both myth and legend, 43 blunt, lightweight, detachable arrows, each about 1 ½ inches long, and 10 chicken butts or other small targets of diminishing size offer would-be Katniss Everdeens immediate opportunities to develop their skills on a tabletop or similarly confined range. But as the author admits, this is more a slingshot than a true bow, as the recurved arms don’t actually bend, and all of the propulsive force is provided by the elastic string. Also, enterprising young felons will doubtless ignore his prohibition against shooting at live targets, so even though the “draw” is (probably) too weak to actually drive the provided missiles into, say, an eyeball, there is still some small potential for mayhem.
The historical narrative is of mild interest, but the incorporated toy is off-target in several ways. (bibliography) (Informational novelty. 8-10)