A fun and friendly walk through potentially confusing aspects of growing up.




An illustrated guide for preteen boys that seeks to answer questions about puberty.

In her nonfiction book, marriage and family therapist Pierre-Louis (Co-Parenting Guidelines, 2004) addresses queries that many young people (and some parents) have about male puberty with help from debut author Caffey, a retired basketball player for two World Championship–winning Chicago Bulls teams. She answers them using a fictional framing device: a lecture by a character named Dr. David Richard who talks about two young boys, 9-year-old Preeb and 12-year-old Pube. With the aid of debut artist Burke’s terrific color illustrations (which cartoonishly portrays the main characters as anthropomorphic, hat-wearing male genitalia), Pierre-Louis uses clear, concise and anatomically precise language to set the stage: “So, what really triggers the puberty show?” Richard rhetorically asks his audience. “In us guys, the special sauce is a chemical, a hormone called Testosterone.” He then delves into specifics on a wide array of topics, including the changing nature of adolescent skin, the causes and nature of random erections, the perennial mystery of pimples, the pros and cons of circumcision, the unsettling question of changing vocal registers, and other matters. In all cases, Pierre-Louis opts for a straightforward, heavily factual approach that offers instruction and dispels persistent misinformation; the section on masturbation, for instance, runs through a list of purported evils that are definitely not a result of that activity. The book, which includes a foreword by Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, carefully and discreetly addresses difficult subjects in a realistic manner. When discussing the mood swings that accompany puberty, for instance, the text offers practical advice: “If you take three really deep breaths before doing or saying anything, it will calm you down…If you can’t remember to breathe, walk away.”

A fun and friendly walk through potentially confusing aspects of growing up.

Pub Date: June 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73302-721-2

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Dock N Jock LLC

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2019

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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