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Men, women and children now rate pandas on their top ten list of animal favorites. T'was not always so. And the story of the discovery of this China doll and its subsequent rise to unprecedented popularity (with the help of the Teddy Bear) is truly fascinating. The first recording of the Giant Panda by a European was in the 1800's and was submitted by a French missionary who, distressed by the state of the Chinese heathen, pursued his naturalist/scientific bent. Later, museums vied for pelts to mount and display and status seeking hunters journeyed round the world for an unsure shot at the rare specimens. Among these were the sons of Teddy Roosevelt. But most interesting is the story of the first attempt to bring back a specimen. American Bill Harkness left his two week old marriage to complete with Britisher Floyd Tangier Smith only to die mysteriously in Shanghai His wife Ruth then took over for an equally mysterious expedition which did manage to net a baby, promptly named Su-Lin and brought to the U.S. It's been "panda-monium" ever since as this book points out. The authors write well with particular attention to detail and the pictures as well as the subject are charming.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 1967

ISBN: 0722162316

Page Count: 150

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1967

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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