A work of beauty and a conveyance into human ingenuity.

READ REVIEW

BRIDGES

AN INTRODUCTION TO TEN GREAT BRIDGES AND THEIR DESIGNERS

From the Who Built That? series

Ten bridges that both changed how we get from here to there and stunned us with their design beauty and engineering cleverness.

Cornille’s book itself has been designed to evoke a bridge: 6 inches by 13 inches, with the long spine to top and the book opened and read after rotating 90 degrees to the right. The bridges have been chosen for a variety of reasons; some are revolutionary in design, others are marvels or curiously elegant or weirdly delicate slabs of concrete. The artwork is composed of artful mechanical drawings—something like David Macaulay with even finer lines—which are not so much simplified as zeroed in on the fundamentals of construction and the way a bridge progresses from one piece of land to another. The bridges’ background stories are quick and captivating: how one bridge nearly killed its engineer from decompression illness as he repeatedly descended into the caissons or how the bridges change the psychological geography of how people relate to land and water. The bridges include the cast-iron bridge over the Severn River, England; the Brooklyn Bridge (inaugurated by a parade of 22 elephants); the Rio-Niterói Bridge in Brazil, which stretches over 8 miles; and Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk (up in the canopy of eucalyptus trees in Australia), among others.

A work of beauty and a conveyance into human ingenuity. (Informational picture book. 6 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61689-516-7

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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A lovely encouragement to young writers to persist.

HOW TO WRITE A STORY

This follow-up to How To Read a Story (2005) shows a child going through the steps of creating a story, from choosing an idea through sharing with friends.

A young black child lies in a grassy field writing in a journal, working on “Step 1 / Search for an Idea— / a shiny one.” During a walk to the library, various ideas float in colorful thought bubbles, with exclamation points: “playing soccer! / dogs!” Inside the library, less-distinct ideas, expressed as shapes and pictures, with question marks, float about as the writer collects ideas to choose from. The young writer must then choose a setting, a main character, and a problem for that protagonist. Plotting, writing with detail, and revising are described in child-friendly terms and shown visually, in the form of lists and notes on faux pieces of paper. Finally, the writer sits in the same field, in a new season, sharing the story with friends. The illustrations feature the child’s writing and drawing as well as images of imagined events from the book in progress bursting off the page. The child’s main character is an adventurous mermaid who looks just like the child, complete with afro-puff pigtails, representing an affirming message about writing oneself into the world. The child’s family, depicted as black, moves in the background of the setting, which is also populated by a multiracial cast.

A lovely encouragement to young writers to persist. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5666-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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

DON'T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE BED

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND HAUNTINGLY TRUE STORIES

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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