An exquisite volume of most interest to students of art, church libraries, or large libraries with extensive art collections.

THE NATIVITY

This striking version of the Nativity story is illustrated with reproductions of fresco paintings by the Italian renaissance artist Giotto.

The frescoes were painted in Padua, Italy, in about 1305 and are considered to be Giotto’s masterwork and among the greatest masterpieces of the Early Renaissance. These frescoes tell the story of Mary and Jesus, and portions have been reproduced for this book. They illustrate the familiar story, beginning with the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary, continuing through the birth of Jesus, and ending with the flight of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus into Egypt. The illustrations are exquisite from an artistic viewpoint, with finely detailed faces surrounded by golden haloes. The illustrations are set on one page each double-page spread, with the text set opposite in an attractive typeface on ivory paper with a decorative border above. The lyrical text is based on the four Gospels of the New Testament. There are no notes in the book about the sources or development of the text, and there are only a few sentences about Giotto, which is a shame, as further, specific information about the frescoes would have extended the use of the book in library collections.

An exquisite volume of most interest to students of art, church libraries, or large libraries with extensive art collections. (Picture book/religion. 9 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-988-8240-46-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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Provocative yet cautious.

LINKED

A community transformed by swastikas, and the response.

Chokecherry, Colorado, is a small town with a lot going on. A group of paleontologists from Massachusetts have set up a research station after fossilized dinosaur poop is discovered in the area. Some residents still whisper about the Night of a Thousand Flames in 1978, when Ku Klux Klan members flocked to the area and burned crosses. And the local media is sent into an uproar when Michael Amorosa, a Dominican boy and one of the few students of color, discovers a swastika painted on a wall at Chokecherry Middle School. Told in alternating perspectives, the story follows the students as they embark on a lengthy tolerance-building curriculum, come up with an art project to commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, deal with an out-of-town YouTuber who wants to go viral with his commentary on the story, and learn more about themselves and their family histories. The only Jewish girl, Dana Levinson, helps Lincoln Rowley study for his bar mitzvah after he learns that his maternal grandmother, rescued and raised by nuns as a Christian, was the sole member of her family to survive the Holocaust. While the story is engaging, with many twists and turns, the different voices blend together, and emotional depth takes a back seat to educational goals. There’s a lot to ponder here about mistakes, intention, the difference between ignorance and hatred, and religious identity.

Provocative yet cautious. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-62911-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Readers of both genders will take to this original and hilarious story—so long as they do not still believe in Santa.

THE NAUGHTY LIST

A zany take on how Christmas happens aims straight for the middle-grade humor sweet spot.

The year her father moves to North Dakota pursuing an oil job, 12-year-old Bobbie Mendoza decides to ignore Christmas. Before this, Bobbie was a normal girl, but now she oozes ’tude: her favorite color is “black. Black goes with everything. Even me.” Among the other indignities of this year, the family’s inflatable Zombie Santa attacks Bobbie—resulting in a “stupid HOT PINK cast.” Bobbie’s decision to get younger brother Tad a 3D Mega Machine by any means necessary leads to her abduction by two elves, learning the truth about the evil keeper of the Naughty List, and discovering what Tad really wants for Christmas. Along the way Bobbie meets a less-than-admirable Santa in a North Pole redolent of refried beans, along with equally unconventional reindeer led by antler-sparking Larry (not the other one). The copious illustrations, black-and-white cartoons reminiscent of Fry’s comic strip, “Over the Hedge,” add fun, clarity, and (oddly enough) believability to the text. Despite the female main focus, boys will enjoy the story too.  References to butts, farts, and lead reindeer Larry’s incontinence will cause mirth and the occasional guffaw.

Readers of both genders will take to this original and hilarious story—so long as they do not still believe in Santa. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-235475-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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