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RICHARD AND THE BOYZ

THE PUBERTY EXPERIENCE

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

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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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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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