EYES ON THE WORLD

THE STORY AND WORK OF JACQUES CALLOT

It looks like an art book but it has little of substance to say about art; it reads like a rather young biography but it has little to tell—since there is little known—about Callot's personal life. Repeatedly referring to the great 17th century etcher as "Europe's first great reporter-artist"—and altogether strongest on his relation to historical events (which are developed in detail)—the text makes less of his qualities as a fantasist and almost nothing of the satirical and ironical nature of his commentary. Symptomatically, the derisive "Awarding the Honors of War" scene is omitted from the series of "Large Miseries"—and there are other omissions of a different nature that merely frustrate the reader (e.g. of the portrait of a former rival that was "the most revealing one that Callot ever made"; of a pupil's "intriguing view" of Callot's room, etc.). Lastly—but of prime importance to anyone concerned with Callot's stature as a printmaker—the reproductions are literally a matter of black against white (or rather ivory), and the better he gets, the poorer they become. That is to say that his tonal effects are lost, dark areas become black, the whole is coarsened (for two quite different, equally regrettable results, see "Card Players" and "The Little Trellis"). Enlargement—both noted and unnoted—tends to coarsen throughout, and altogether there is little here of the master who influenced Rembrandt. Although Miss Averill communicates her respect for Callot, neither the exposition nor the illustrations back her up.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 1970

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1970

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A sanitized version of a too-short life.

I AM ANNE FRANK

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

A bobblehead avatar of the teenage writer and symbol of the Holocaust presents her life as an inspiration.

From a big-eared babyhood and a childhood spent “writing stories” to fleeing Germany for Amsterdam, Anne’s pre-Annex life is sketched. Narrating in the first person, the cartoon Anne explains that Nazis “didn’t like those of us who were Jewish or other groups who were different from them.” Hitler is presented as a leader “who blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s problems, even though we hadn’t done anything wrong.” Then in short order Anne receives her diary as a birthday present, the family goes into hiding, and Anne finds solace in the attic looking at the chestnut tree and writing. Effectively, Annex scenes are squeezed between broad black borders. Illustrations present four snippets of quotes from her diary, including “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Narrator Anne says, “You can always find light in the darkest places. That’s what hope is,” as she clutches the diary with Shabbat candles on one side and a menorah burning brightly on the other. In the next double-page spread, an international array of modern-day visitors standing outside the Anne Frank House briefly, in speech bubbles, wraps up the story of the Holocaust, the diary, the Annex, and the chestnut tree. Anne’s wretched death in a concentration camp is mentioned only in a concluding timeline. I Am Benjamin Franklin publishes simultaneously. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7.5-by-15-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A sanitized version of a too-short life. (photos, sources, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55594-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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