LIBERTY

This is a comprehensive, fact-filled, and stunningly illustrated history of the Statue of Liberty. It begins with an explanation of why the French came up with the idea in the first place, and how the brilliant young sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi became interested in the project that was to be his obsession for the next 15 years. Bartholdi decided where the statue must stand as soon as he laid eyes on what is now Liberty Island. “Here . . . my statue must rise; here where people get their first view of the New World.” A brief description of neoclassicism is followed by the history of the statue’s construction and the engineering feats it required. The statue was constructed in separate stages and, after the head was built, it was exhibited in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878. The head was pulled through the streets of Paris in a cart pulled by 13 horses (the double-page spread of Liberty’s head crossing a bridge in Paris is alone worth the price of the book). There are hardly any women mentioned or pictured in the book, and Curlee addresses this by pointing out the irony that the statue exemplifying the spirit of liberty was erected at a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote. Acrylic paintings reproduced in full color from photographic transparencies are the artistic medium, and the appealing, interesting palette of blues, blacks, and bronzes captures the ambition and majesty of the project. While the text is occasionally pompous, and perhaps not as much fun as the Betsy and Guilio Maestro book on the same subject, Liberty is an engaging and useful resource for the classroom and library. (specifications, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82823-3

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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