With its companion, this handsome, accessible book is particularly welcome, enhancing subject diversity with its refreshing...

WHO BUILT THAT? SKYSCRAPERS

AN INTRODUCTION TO SKYSCRAPERS AND THEIR ARCHITECTS

This engaging, immediate and immersive book introduces the eight men behind eight towering, sky-scraping structures.

They range in age from Gustave Eiffel’s eponymous tower (1889) through William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building (1930) and Fazlur Rahman Khan’s John Hancock Center (1969) to Adrian Devaun Smith’s ingenious, wind-resistant Burj Khalifa (2010) in Dubai—now the world’s tallest building. The text in this French import is pared down to informative essentials, and it reflects a sophisticated, seamless, accessible design sensibility. Each architect (all men) is briefly introduced, and then his iconographic building is explored over successive pages. Cornille favors simple line drawings with just hints of color and plenty of white space. The book’s distinctive look echoes the effects achieved by AutoCAD—today’s computer-assisted architectural design tool of choice. The trim size also telegraphs and quickly signifies the subject. One of a two-book suite, it is taller than it is wide. Its companion, Who Built That? Modern Houses: An Introduction to Modern Houses and Their Architects, enjoys a landscape format. Happily, Houses also employs a similar approach to its taller cousin: 10 architecturally significant houses by 10 notable architects (Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Courbusier, Rem Koolhaas, etc.).

With its companion, this handsome, accessible book is particularly welcome, enhancing subject diversity with its refreshing treatment, and all the more notable for its clean simplicity. (footnotes) (Informational picture book. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61689-270-8

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

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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