FOUR THOUSAND YEARS OF JEWISH HISTORY

THEN AND NOW

The story of one of the world’s oldest religions is folded into an overview of world history. Influential in at least two other great religions, Christianity and Islam, Judaism and its people have also been affected by the events and evolving beliefs and perceptions of numerous leaders throughout the past. Lefcourt offers a sound introduction with a combination of cartoon drawings broken into several panels on each page against pale blue backdrops with an easy-to-read, flowing text to relate the world’s historical highlights in short-story–style segments. General facts, important dates, people, events, maps, a timeline and puzzles are woven into the long Jewish history with yellow highlighted passages to point out specific episodes, consequences, incidents and even outcomes related to the Jewish people. From the Ten Commandments to the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, Europe’s Renaissance, the beginnings of Zionism, the Holocaust, American Judaism and modern Israel to the unknown future, this volume leaves readers with an understanding that the past is an important reminder for Jews, who will always move forward with hope and determination. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60280-132-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: KTAV

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no...

THE INCREDIBLE PLATE TECTONICS COMIC

From the Adventures of Geo series , Vol. 1

Superhero Geo introduces readers to plate tectonics.

Reviewing information on his way to school for a big geology test, young George transforms himself into “Geo,” a uniformed superhero with a rocket-propelled skateboard and a robotic canine sidekick. In his imaginary adventure, he leaps over sidewalk “faults,” swerves away from “tsunamis” splashed up by a passing truck and saves an elderly lady from falling into an open manhole “volcano.” Meanwhile, supported by visual aids provided by inserted graphics and maps, Geo goes over the convergent, divergent and transform movements of tectonic plates, subduction, magnetic “stripes” paralleling oceanic ridges and a host of other need-to-know facts and terms. All of this is illustrated in big, brightly colored sequential panels of cartoon art hung about with heavy blocks of explication. After the exam comes back with, natch, a perfect score (“I guess all that studying paid off”), Lee, a geophysicist, abandons the story for a final 10 pages of recap and further detail on plate tectonics’ causes, effects and measurement—closing with a description of what geologists do.

African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no more than a mouthpiece—perhaps there will be more of a plot in his next adventure. (online projects, index) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59327-549-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: No Starch Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Uninspired: reads and looks like a rough draft.

ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

THE STORY OF APOLLO 11'S THIRD MAN

An account of the first moon landing, with special focus on Michael Collins, the astronaut who stayed aloft in the command module.

“The only thing most people know about Michael Collins is that he didn’t get to walk on the moon,” writes Irvine, who then works to fill in details of his subject’s career before, during, and after his multiple stints in space. This effort is particularly lifeless, though, as bland generalities (“Michael Collins worked hard and waited for his chance”) and at best only glancing references to his family, to medical issues, to his spacesuit-design work, to his lively sense of humor—which infuses his autobiography for young readers, Flying to the Moon and other Strange Places (1976)—and to anything that he’s done since 1976 leave him a distant figure. Bishop’s drab, sketchy duotone scenes and schematic diagrams likewise keep Collins and the space program’s dramatic achievements at arm’s length; capsules and rockets are small on the page; human figures who aren’t anonymous beneath faceless helmets are barely recognizable; and the artist offers only perfunctory historical renditions of astronaut gear, control boards, and the like. Along with Flying to the Moon (for those who can find it), Bea Uusma Schyffert’s The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon (2003) offers a more animated, informative picture of Collins, Apollo, and the space program in general.

Uninspired: reads and looks like a rough draft. (timeline, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-88448-452-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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