An upbeat view of innovations in modern living.

READ REVIEW

HOME SWEET NEIGHBORHOOD

TRANSFORMING CITIES ONE BLOCK AT A TIME

Making a special, unique, even personal mark on a neighborhood can have benefits for all.

It took thousands of years of human existence, from nomadic life to town or city dwelling, to create a sense of neighborhood. Then modern suburban life and urban blight seemed, at least partially, to break it down. Mulder posits that people, especially kids, have the power to rebuild that sense of neighborhood that so many generations knew. Readers are provided with copious examples of inventive and often brilliant ideas that have been implemented from locations around the world. There are pocket parks and gardens created in parking spots and other small spaces. Block parties, community festivals, street painting, pedestrian malls, knitters’ corners, lending libraries, self-serve sharing stations, and many more community-building efforts are presented, almost all of which are the ideas of ordinary adults and children. These innovations are sometimes faced with initial opposition from neighbors concerned with noise or crowds or from officials, as in “That’s public space—so no one can use it!” Loosely themed chapters offer brief explorations of each special place, illustrated with color photos. Scattered on the pages are sidebars with historic facts as well as places created in the author’s own city of Victoria, British Columbia. Throughout, readers are encouraged to run with their own place-making ideas in their own communities.

An upbeat view of innovations in modern living. (resources, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1691-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.

DON'T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE BED

THRILLS, CHILLS, AND HAUNTINGLY TRUE STORIES

A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)

 

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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