CAPTURING NATURE

THE WRITINGS AND ART OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

Explaining that ``Our selections, with minor editing, come from Maria Audubon (1986), Audubon and His Journals,'' the Roops choose passages that outline Audubon's life, work, and thought, effectively evoking a man for whom painting birds was ``almost a mania,'' who ``would even give up doing a head, the profits of which would have supplied our wants for a week, to represent a citizen of the feathered tribe,'' and who wondered prophetically about imminent effects of ``the surplus population of Europe coming to assist in the destruction of the forest.'' The book is attractively furnished with excellent reproductions (titled but not dated); Farley's rather stolid paintings suffer by comparison, ironically underlining Audubon's skill. The text, offered without dates or ellipses, sounds retrospective rather than like a journal; readers capable enough to cope with its vocabulary would be better served by having more clues to specific sources. A chronology and index, too, are wanting. Still, lucid and attractive. List of secondary sources. (Autobiography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 1993

ISBN: 0-8027-8204-3

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1993

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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SATCHEL PAIGE

``I always had to listen to that same old sentence: `If you were only white, so you could play in the majors.''' Another look at pro baseball's most durable pitcher, a walking and (especially) talking refutation of the idea that skin color (or, for that matter, age) is a measure of ability. Paige finally did break into the majors at age 42, by far its oldest rookie; the six years he spent there are little more than a footnote to his illustrious career. He's been the subject of many biographies; this one isn't a significant improvement over Macht's, issued by the same publisher in 1991. The two share many photos and quotes, aim at roughly the same audience, and append (differently) abbreviated stats, but Macht offers a more animated style and a clearer sense of Paige's personality. Bibliography; index. (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-7910-1880-6

Page Count: 102

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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