author-photographer Robert Abad ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
While some images prove banal, this work offers plenty of captivating photos.
A debut photography book features people from around the world.
Abad explains in the introduction to this collection of photographs that the main goal is to show kids “the world from a unique global perspective—through candid ‘moments’ in the daily lives of children from other countries.” In the pages that follow, images depict cities as disparate as Shanghai and Santiago, Chile. As the introduction suggests, most (though not all) of the photos tend to show ordinary people (particularly children) doing ordinary things. In Mexico City, a boy walks with his mother in front of a small food stand. In Kazakhstan, a girl presumably waits for a school bus. In Odisha, India, children play in the ocean. In Shanghai, people participate in what appears to be a snowball fight. Interspersed on pages between photos are a number of quotes. Some are famous, some less so. These include a statement from Salman Rushdie (“The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame”) and an anonymous Asian proverb (“Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep”). In some places, readers are left to decipher what exactly is going on. In a picture of four young boys in Shanghai, one lies on the ground. Has the boy been hit? Are they playing some kind of game? While the circumstances are unclear, the photo shows an intriguing day for these children. Such casual shots make for the most thoughtful images. But some pictures have a generic quality. A photo of the Great Wall of China looks like many other shots of the landmark. Images of Havana with old buildings and vintage cars do not add much nuance to the typical images of Cuba readers might expect. Yet taken as a whole, the photos certainly spark questions for children and adults alike. What is it like to have a snowball fight in China or to cavort in the sea in Odisha? The book makes it clear there is much in even the everyday world to discover.While some images prove banal, this work offers plenty of captivating photos.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: May 29, 2021
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.
Awards & Accolades
The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.
Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.
Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Page Count: 272
Publisher: Celadon Books
Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020
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by Jimmy Buffett ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 1, 1998
Lg. Prt. 0-375-70288-1 This first nonfiction outing from singer/songwriter Buffett (Where Is Joe Merchant?, 1992, etc.) is more food for his Parrothead fans, but there is some fine writing along with the self-revelation. Half autobiography and half travelogue, this volume recounts a trip by Buffett and his family to the Caribbean over one Christmas holiday to celebrate the writer’s 50th birthday. Buffett is a licensed pilot, and his personal weakness is for seaplanes, so it’s primarily in this sort of craft that the family’s journey takes place. While giving beautiful descriptions of the locales to which he travels (including a very attractive portrait of Key West, from which he sets out), Buffett intersperses recollections of his first, short-lived marriage, his experiences in college and avoiding the Vietnam draft, and his brief employment at Billboard magazine’s Nashville bureau before becoming a professional musician. In the meantime, he carries his reader seamlessly through the Cayman Island, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Amazon basin, and Trinidad and Tobago. Buffett shows that he is a keen observer of Latin American culture and also that he can “pass” in these surroundings when he needs to. It’s perhaps on this latter point that this book finds its principal weakness. Buffett tends toward preachiness in addressing his mostly landlubber readers, as when he decries the seeming American inability to learn a second language while most Caribbeans can speak English; elsewhere he attacks “ugly Americans out there making it harder for us more-connected-to-the-local-culture types.” On the other hand, he seems right on the money when he observes that the drug war of the 1980s did little to stop trafficking in the area and that turning wetlands into helicopter pads for drug agents isn’t going to offer any additional help. Both Parrotheads and those with a taste for the Caribbean find something for their palates here. (Author tour)
Pub Date: July 1, 1998
Page Count: 224
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1998
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