This companion to Great Deeds of the Superheroes (1990) has a tentative air: Whereas Saxby cemented the first collection of myths and legends by showing the common features of male heroes and hero tales everywhere, here he claims to have found no such correspondences. Of his 18 subjects, some—Athena, Judith, Boadicea, Joan of Arc—are undeniably heroic. But Aphrodite cuts a decidedly unheroic figure; it's appalling to think of Circe or Medea as role models; and the Zuni ``Hunter Maiden'' is not only rescued from a demon by two warrior gods, but they also do her hunting for her. The Vasilissa and Pocahantas tales are familiar; but the story of Miao Shan, who had her hands and eyes removed to restore her father's health and was later deified as Guanyin (the Chinese goddess of mercy), is less so, while the saga of Mary Bryant, an 18th-century convict who escaped the penal colony of Botany Bay with a 3000-mile journey in an open boat, will be new to most readers. Ingpen offers a series of powerfully telling portraits (some referring to Botticelli and other old masters) realistically depicting women of many ages, miens, and moods. Aside from occasional references in the text, there are no notes on sources beyond a perfunctory bibliography. Handsome, but of substantially less value than its predecessor. Index. (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 1992

ISBN: 0-87226-348-7

Page Count: 156

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992



Reading like a long term paper, this dry, abstract recitation of teams and players brings neither the game nor the people who played and are playing it to life. McKissack (with Patricia C. McKissack, Black Diamond, 1994, not reviewed, etc.) opens with a chapter on basketball’s invention and original rules, closes with a look at women’s basketball, and in between chronicles the growth of amateur, college, and pro ball, adding clipped quotes, technical observations about changing styles of play and vague comments about how players black and white respected each other. The information is evidently drawn entirely from previously published books and interviews. A modest selection of black-and-white photographs give faces to some of the many names the author drops, but readers won’t find much more about individual players beyond an occasional biographical or statistical tidbit. McKissack frequently points to parallels in the history of African Americans in basketball and in baseball, but this account comes off as sketchy and unfocused compared to Black Diamond. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48712-4

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999


This technical, comprehensive entry in the Dangerous Weather series explores the mystery of rain and what happens when it does not come. Allaby (Tornadoes, p. 1384) first defines drought before discussing the reasons for and results of long periods without rain. Readers will gain a clear understanding of scientific terms that are in use, about air movements in the tropics and subtropics, subtropical deserts, desert life, precipitation, evaporation, ocean currents, jet streams, blocking highs, and more. As with the previous book, it may not interest general readers, but it will make research a breeze and may inspire further inquiries into the subject of droughts and water conservation. (b&w photos, drawings, illustrations, charts, graphs, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8160-3519-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Facts On File

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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