Eye candy for both serious and casual dinophiles, with an admixture of facts and fancies.

THE EARLY CRETACEOUS

NOTES, DRAWINGS, AND OBSERVATIONS FROM PREHISTORY

From the Ancient Earth Journal series

Two accomplished paleoartists invite armchair paleontologists to go eye to eye with 21 dinosaurs and flying reptiles.

Each chosen dino is presented in a two- to four-page gallery of full-body color portraits supplemented with sepia close-ups of claws and maws. They range from toothy theropods like Carcharodontosaurus saharicus—posed with jaws open, closed, and drenched in gore—and towering sauropod Argentinosaurus huinculensis to Enaliornis barretti, an early bird. All are carefully identified and caught in natural poses with faint shadows but almost no other background detail. Nearly all gaze directly up at viewers with predatory or (if vegetarian) cautionary mien. Their physical details and brightly patterned, scaly hides are worked with fine-lined realism, and colors, particularly in feathers, glow iridescently. Each entry includes a tally of basic information, a select set of descriptive labels, and a scale drawing of the creature next to a (usually much smaller) human figure. Perhaps in an effort to add verisimilitude, though, the authors salt the captions and commentary with unsupported notes on “Temperament” and behavior (“Microraptor emits a high-pitched squawk”), nor do they cite any sources or leads to further information.

Eye candy for both serious and casual dinophiles, with an admixture of facts and fancies. (pronunciation guide) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63322-033-1

Page Count: 115

Publisher: Quarto

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity.

HEAD TO HEAD

18 LINKED PORTRAITS OF PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

Renowned achievers go nose-to-nose on fold-out pages.

Mixing contemporary celebrities with historical figures, Corbineau pairs off his gallery of full-page portraits by theme, the images all reworked from photos or prints into cut-paper collages with highly saturated hues. Gandhi and Rosa Parks exemplify nonviolent protest; Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie are (mostly) commended for their work with impoverished people; and a “common point” between Gutenberg and Mark Zuckerberg is that both revolutionized the ways we communicate. The portraits, on opposite ends of gatefolds, open to reveal short biographies flanking explanatory essays. Women and people of color are distinctly underrepresented. There are a few surprises, such as guillotined French playwright Olympe de Gouges, linked for her feminism with actress Emma Watson; extreme free-fall jumper Felix Baumgartner, paired with fellow aerialist record-seeker Amelia Earhart; and Nelson Mandela’s co–freedom fighter Jean Moulin, a leader of the French Resistance. In another departure from the usual run of inspirational panegyrics, Cornabas slips in the occasional provocative claim, noting that many countries considered Mandela’s African National Congress a terrorist organization and that Mother Teresa, believing that suffering was “a gift from God,” rarely gave her patients painkillers. Although perhaps only some of these subjects “changed the world” in any significant sense, all come off as admirable—for their ambition, strength of character, and drive.

Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity. (map, timeline) (Collective biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7643-6226-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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Brisk, broad, often funny…and more than just peddling the medals.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GOLD!

AN IRREVERENT GUIDE TO THE SPORTS OF THE SUMMER GAMES

An overview of Olympic and Paralympic events, with notes on rules, history, special gear, and epic feats and fails.

After quick intros to the ancient and modern games—and a timeline of the latter that, in a spirit of optimism, runs to 2020—this handbook goes on to cover some 40-plus events or classes of event, including sport climbing and skateboarding, both putatively debuting in 2020. Each entry arranges quick bursts of fact, historical background, basic rules of play, and medal tallies of renowned winners around a large, stylized central scene showing racially and ethnically diverse competitors in vigorous action; occasionally snarky commentary adds a chuckle or two (Wrestling: “A combat sport in which two athletes in singlets roll around on a mat cuddling each other until one of them can’t move anymore”). Along with individual entries for goalball and boccia, which are exclusively Paralympic events, versions of each sport as adapted for athletes with disabilities get nods throughout. Despite a claim at the outset that it’s “all about the medals!” every entry also includes general advice about the hazards and pleasures of participating in each sport at any level of skill. Readers will come away with a good overall view of the summer Olympics, if not a complete tally—in sailing alone, as Allen notes, there are 10 to 15 races in each of eight different events—plus a look at 19 exciting sports or games that may one day be added, like break dancing or…well, bowling.

Brisk, broad, often funny…and more than just peddling the medals. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1398-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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