Noncanonical entries make this a natural companion or follow-up for Kathleen Krull’s essential Lives of the Artists,...

KID ARTISTS

TRUE TALES OF CHILDHOOD FROM CREATIVE LEGENDS

From the Kid Legends series , Vol. 3

For budding artists, here’s a heartening reminder that 17 unconventional greats—not to mention all the rest—started out as children too.

The pseudonymous Stabler (Robert Schnakenberg in real life) adopts a liberal admissions policy for his latest gathering of anecdotal profiles (Kid Presidents, 2014, etc.). In a chapter on the influence of nature and wildlife on early artistic visions, Leonardo da Vinci and the young Vincent van Gogh rub shoulders with Beatrix Potter and Emily Carr; in another focusing on overcoming shyness or other personal, social, or economic obstacles, Jackson Pollock hangs out with Charles Schulz, Yoko Ono, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In a third chapter that highlights the importance of a supportive parent, teacher, or other cheerleader, fathers do for prodigious young Pablo Picasso and polio-stricken Frida Kahlo, his mother for Andy Warhol, art instructors for Jacob Lawrence and Keith Haring. The author owns an easy, readable style, and though he leaves out quite a lot—Diego Rivera goes unmentioned in the Kahlo entry, nor do van Gogh’s suicide, Basquiat’s heroin addiction, or anyone’s sexual orientation come up—he’s chosen his subjects with an eye toward diversity of background, upbringing, and, eventually, style and media. Horner lightens the overall tone further with cartoon vignettes of caricatured but recognizable figures.

Noncanonical entries make this a natural companion or follow-up for Kathleen Krull’s essential Lives of the Artists, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (1995). (bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59474-896-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A weak distillation of the author’s adult works, this is unlikely to instruct or even inspire young would-be explorers.

WILD OUTSIDE

AROUND THE WORLD WITH SURVIVORMAN

First principles of surviving in the wild, from one who should know.

Stroud, author of several survival manuals and memoirs for older audiences and host of TV shows that document his own voluntary strandings in diverse rugged climes, offers 12 anecdotes from his experiences that exemplify what he sees as the four necessary actions: “Prepare,” “Observe,” “React,” and “Adapt.” Some stories—such as the time a companion in the Kalahari reaches into a weaverbird nest for an egg and pulls out a cobra or the discovery that Australian witchetty grubs are delectable (“The skin tasted like fried chicken, and the insides tasted like scrambled eggs! Mmmm”) while the superficially similar Indonesian sago grubs really, truly aren’t—make riveting reading. Most, however, are more casual in tone than melodramatic, and they are too sketchy on the finer points of building a fire, contriving a shelter from found materials, or like skills to draw in survivalists of either the practical-minded or armchair bent. A basic survival-kit checklist and occasional DIY projects like a homemade rain gauge are likewise perfunctory. The illustrations make this look even more like a marketing tool, as Barr’s painted reconstructions depict useful gear or crank up the drama a bit but, like many of the interspersed photos, seem mostly designed to show how good the ruggedly handsome White author looks posing in various outdoorsy settings.

A weak distillation of the author’s adult works, this is unlikely to instruct or even inspire young would-be explorers. (bibliography) (Memoir. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77321-507-5

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Chortleworthy at first glance, disturbingly superficial at second and subsequent ones.

THE PRESIDENTIAL MASTERS OF PREHISTORY

From the Jurassic Classics series

Six presidents of our Holocene epoch pair up with prehistoric predecessors, from George Washingdonyx to Franklin D. Rex.

Following the format of The Prehistoric Masters of Literature (2016), Lacey matches a dino-bio that comes with an attached booklet containing further details to a profile of a historical chief executive from the (considerably) more recent past. Though millions of years separate the administrations of each couple, there are remarkable parallels: Thomas Jeffersaurus drafted a “Declaration of In-dino-pendence,” and Franklin D. Rex crafted a New Deal for those afflicted by the Great Ice Age. It’s a clever premise—but the author’s efforts to accentuate the positive for each president lead her into some troublesome territory. She trumpets Andrew Jaxceratops/Jackson’s “passion for democracy” while staying silent about his treatment of Native Americans, for instance, and makes no mention of slavery either until noting that (in an infelicitous choice of words) Abraham Lincolnator “freed millions of creatures.” The Winning of the West may not be the best choice to represent Theodore Rexevelt’s publications either, considering that work’s rabid cultural imperialism. For all that they’re uniformly green of skin, the dignitaries in Isik’s cartoon portraits generally resemble their modern white (mostly) counterparts, except in a gallery of additional proto-presidents where “Obamasaurus” has thick lips (wrong in more ways than one).

Chortleworthy at first glance, disturbingly superficial at second and subsequent ones. (list of presidents) (Informational novelty. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-109-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more