A compelling collection of nature photography that conveys a clear message.



An impressive collection of geological photographs accompanied by essays by the photographer and environmental activists.

Simpson (Blues—By You, 1997) has collected more than 100 of his images of landforms from around the world. His book, which is dedicated to the “Water Protectors of Standing Rock,” opens with essays from attorney Daniel Sheehan, activist Chase Iron Eyes, British author John Farndon, and photography critic Lyle Rexer as well as Simpson’s own introduction. Sheehan reviews the history and context of the 2016-2017 Dakota Access Pipeline protests while Iron Eyes’ contribution has a more poetic format (“Humanity’s dark legacy is hubris, greed, folly / Yet we all possess an unconquerable spirit even if we do not know it”), and Farndon’s words link art and activism. Simpson explains his approach to art (“I take special delight in exploring closer and smaller-scale formations that offer rich possibilities of compositions untethered to the formal, sky-above-earth/water-below, landscape paradigm”) before presenting his images, which feature titles only; captions providing more information are collected in the final pages. The photos are almost exclusively of the natural environment, although a few humans appear, as in one picture of a Hawaiian beach and another of Sardinia. The images include scenes from California, Quebec, Turkey, Mongolia, New Mexico, and Ireland. Simpson has an eye for naturally occurring patterns and structures, and he presents vivid mineral deposits and eye-catching rock formations. He compares a particularly notable formation to Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream, and it’s hard to deny the resemblance. The captions are informative and will help geological novices understand how the shapes developed. They also offer references to the works of other artists, and their placement in the book’s final pages effectively allows readers to process the images separately. Although the environmentalist message is strong in the opening essays, Simpson’s later commentary emphasizes natural beauty without reiterating the threat that it faces, letting readers draw the connection themselves.

A compelling collection of nature photography that conveys a clear message.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-21122-0

Page Count: 168

Publisher: JSS Books

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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