A GIFT OF DAYS by Stephen Alcorn


The Greatest Words to Live By
by and illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 14
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Beautifully designed and imaginatively conceptualized, this volume presents 366 days and 366 quotations from famous people, tagged to the days they were born. Alcorn lays this out on each double-page spread with a stunning polychrome-relief block-print bordered with pattern on one leaf and, facing, a week of birthdays and quotes. These images are often brilliantly inventive: Billie Holiday’s camellia has a death’s head in its center; John Lennon is figured as the King of Hearts with a Mozart overlay; Leonardo da Vinci is posed like the Mona Lisa. Some are less inspired, offering only pleasing busts with little iconic imagery. Librarians, educators and historically minded kids will take much pleasure from looking up birthdays to see the associated wisdom from women and men across the ages: LL Cool J (Jan. 14), Mercator (March 5), Mia Hamm (March 17), Golda Meir (May 3), Barack Obama (Aug. 4), Cellini (Nov. 3), Emily Dickinson (Dec. 10). While there is an index and a brief biographical listing for each, there are no citations for the quotations, which is a lamentable omission. (Reference. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6776-7
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2009


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