A partially successful attempt to show the evolution of humankind and its inventions, from 3,500,000 B.C. to the present. A typical two-page spread gives a brief paragraph of text, a full-page illustration (brown ink and watercolor wash in a serviceable style), plus brief marginal notes and illustrations of ``what's new'' in the period. Unfortunately, there's no attempt here to distinguish between conjecture and fact, while dates presented as fact are sometimes at odds with those in reputable sources (e.g., Sattler's Hominids, 1988, which dates the earliest tools as much as 1.5 million years later, and the Encyclopedia Americana, which differs by at least 1000 years on the earliest use of bronze). The choice of inventions among the relatively few cited is sometimes curious: eyeglasses; printing press; croissants; piano. Still, while the idea has been imperfectly realized, this simple presentation of evolving inventions will intrigue younger science and history buffs. No sources for information or artifacts; no index. (Nonfiction. 6- 10)

Pub Date: June 5, 1991

ISBN: 0-8027-6918-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1991


At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992


Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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