As selective as the companion outing but a trove of data nonetheless for tourists of both the active and armchair sorts.

READ REVIEW

50 CITIES OF THE U.S.A.

EXPLORE AMERICA'S CITIES WITH 50 FACT-FILLED MAPS

The creators of the fact-packed The 50 States (2015) give as many of the United States’ bustling burgs similarly upbeat, panoramic overviews.

Printed on simplified street maps that provide loose geographical anchors, each of the alphabetically arranged surveys fills an oversize spread with graphic vignettes and descriptive notes about select neighborhoods, institutions, sports, and sights, plus a carefully diverse cast of prominent natives, local cuisine, historical highlights, and major festivals. Each features a box of “Key Facts” (all nonstatistical except for population) and an infeasible but tantalizing itinerary for a day’s tour. The information is current enough to include mention of Hamilton on Broadway and audience-conscious enough to cite hometown superheroes where appropriate, along with site-specific books for young readers. It’s all compiled with a sure instinct for sparking urges to visit or at least to find out more. Who, for instance, would want to pass up the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, Flaming Lips Alley in Oklahoma City, or the chance to drive a bulldozer at Las Vegas’ Dig This? Washington, D.C., caps the main tour, but lest any state go unrepresented Des Moines and seven other cities that didn’t make the cut get their “Key Facts” laid out at the end.

As selective as the companion outing but a trove of data nonetheless for tourists of both the active and armchair sorts. (index) (Atlas. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84780-870-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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