This brief volume offers only a cursory view of places worth a more intense look.

BAREFOOT BOOKS AMAZING PLACES

A slim collection of awe-inspiring sites the world over.

The places are all part of the built environment, created by people throughout the ages, including the Egyptian pyramids, the Parthenon, the Colosseum, Ankgor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and 20th-century marvels like Sagrada Familia and the Sydney Opera House. Each section starts with a large picture of the exterior of the site with one short descriptive paragraph, then continues with a second double-page spread with several rectangular panels highlighting information about the interior, interesting facts, and equipment needed for the trip or souvenirs to buy. While the initial visuals are attractive, the secondary pages do not provide the in-depth details needed to really understand the beauty of many of these sites. For example, the text for Sagrada Familia mentions the interior, yet there are no illustrations of the inside of the building with its fantastic columns that evoke the natural world. The different exterior facades are mentioned, and again, readers are told about the details of Jesus’ life that are depicted, but the illustrations do no justice to the sculptural stories that exist. Although the places mentioned are from around the world, Africa is ignored except for Egypt. This could be used as a jumping-off place for further exploration, but it doesn’t really do the job it set out to do. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.8-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 56.4% of actual size.)

This brief volume offers only a cursory view of places worth a more intense look. (map, glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64686-067-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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All those hundreds of witnesses and researchers can’t be wrong, can they? (Nonfiction. 9-11)

IN SEARCH OF SASQUATCH

AN EXERCISE IN ZOOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

A true believer presents the evidence.

Expanding on a partial chapter in her outstanding Tales of the Cryptids (2006), Halls makes her case by tallying Native American legends, the many footprints and reported sightings (a map of the latter claims hundreds from every state except Hawaii), the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, the recorded “Sierra Sounds” and other circumstantial evidence. She also interviews scientists and Sasquatch hunters, includes an account of early searches for Tibet’s Yeti, adds the transcript of a panicky 911 call and even covers some proven hoaxes. She maintains a believer's voice, gently challenging refuseniks: "Serious Sasquatch hunters are as skeptical as unbelievers. They are not out to collect great stories. They are out to put together facts. Proof. The difference is, they are willing to keep an open mind." Illustrated with photos, drawings and archival images aplenty and closing with generous lists of print, Web and video resources this is about as convincing as it gets—considering the continuing absence of any incontrovertible physical proof—and should give young cryptid hunters a good hairy leg up on investigations of their own.

All those hundreds of witnesses and researchers can’t be wrong, can they? (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-25761-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Buoyant if occasionally simplistic, with a distinct lean to the left.

WE THE PEOPLE

THE CONSTITUTION EXPLORED AND EXPLAINED

An introduction to the U.S. Constitution, with case studies, commentary, and debate questions to spark rumination and discussion.

Using simplified language, as the original is replete with “old-fashioned terms and some of the loooooongest sentences you will ever see,” the authors go over select parts of each article and amendment in turn. Along with blowing off originalists by characterizing the document as designed “to be reinterpreted and revised over time as our society evolves,” they point to ways racial and gender inequities, beginning with enslavement, have so often been “silently woven between the lines” and caution readers to be wary of historical “whitewashing.” They also profile notable reformers, women who have served in Congress and/or run for president, and hot-button issues such as gun control and abortion rights. Budding political activists are encouraged at the close to get involved: “Power is fun!” Lewis populates the pages with mixes of stylized individual portraits and thoroughly diversified clusters of small figures waving protest signs, marching, or, like a rainbow row of women celebrating the 19th Amendment and the biracial couple raising glasses at Prohibition’s repeal, posing in triumph. Occasional bobbles notwithstanding—the Federalist Party was hardly “the nation’s financial system,” Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not “end slavery,” and it’s not 100% true that “police shootings of Black people…continue unchecked”—this view of the foundational document of our national system is both nuanced and reasonably easy to understand.

Buoyant if occasionally simplistic, with a distinct lean to the left. (glossary, index, reading list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: July 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5404-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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