A grab-bag of helpful hints for parents and teachers, but far from comprehensive. (65 b&w photos, not seen)

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THE ART OF TEACHING ART TO CHILDREN

IN SCHOOL AND AT HOME

An art teacher shares miscellaneous tips and tricks to familiarize elementary-school children with the basic materials and awaken their creativity.

Beal is less concerned with philosophical questions about the nature or purpose of art than with the practical side of being an art teacher. Beginning with the injunction, “I think primarily in terms of art materials,” she offers sensible hints for arranging the art classroom, protecting clothing from stains, and structuring lessons appropriate for children at various developmental stages. The six chapters that follow each focus on a single medium: collage, drawing, painting, clay, printmaking, and construction. Each chapter consists of short sections on materials, techniques, appropriate adult responses and lesson plans arranged in no particular sequence, concluding with questions and answers for parents hoping to adapt the techniques for home use. The chatty, informal tone is attractive, and parents and art teachers will make good use of the innumerable concrete suggestions for contriving materials and supplies, doubtless accumulated over years of classroom experience (transfer Elmer’s glue into baby-food jars, Beal urges, and always recondition used clay by poking a hole in it, filling it with water, and letting it sit in an airtight container before presenting it to a child). Parents and neophyte teachers will also benefit from her many examples of encouraging, thought-provoking responses to children’s creations. However, the conversational approach has its pitfalls. Spread over various chapters, the treatment of developmental stages and lesson-planning fizzles out into vague directives to have a sense of purpose. The loose organization of the chapters and the book as a whole, rambling among practical techniques, philosophical ruminations, and descriptions of children’s achievements, is also likely to frustrate any harried teacher or parent looking for substantial information on a particular medium, or an in-depth, focused discussion of educational strategies.

A grab-bag of helpful hints for parents and teachers, but far from comprehensive. (65 b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-374-52770-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2001

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

COLUMBINE

Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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