Lush, beautiful reproductions introduce Rousseau’s art work to a young audience, but the text, combining fact and fiction, may confuse those expecting a biography. The first half of this book follows Rousseau’s life; the second half links his jungle paintings together in a narrative as if they were all inspired by one dream. Although it may be true in an abstract sense, it may not be fair to explain away Rousseau’s art with the clichÇ of a dream. Plazy’s A Weekend with Rousseau (1992) offers a more stable forage into the jungles. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 3-7913-1987-6

Page Count: 30

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1998



Hartling's Old John (1990), set in a German milieu evoked with perfectly selected detail, exquisitely demonstrated that the verities of the human condition transcend their setting. Here, a disastrous decision has been made (presumably by the publisher): a gentle story about a ten-year-old schoolboy's friendship with a Polish refugee in his class is completely undermined by pretending that it takes place in America, though almost every incident and detail—e.g., the characters' names, a teacher's assignment, Ben's gift of flowers to Anna's mother on his first visit, even how jobs and housing are acquired—seems European, and is certainly not American. Set in Hartling's homeland (Austria), this would be a quiet but pleasingly warm-hearted story; as it stands, it's an exasperating travesty.~(Fiction. 8- 11)

Pub Date: April 29, 1991

ISBN: 0-87951-401-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991



Killer bees. One of those items on Nature's payroll that seems downright unfair. The African environment shaped a kind of bee with an aggressive protective instinct, conditioned to attack, en masse, threats to the hive. Some Brazilian beekeepers, wishing to invigorate their stock (the American variety of bees are relative wimps), imported the violence-prone African bees. Despite efforts to control the bees, some escaped. Multiplying rapidly, they are spreading north at a rate of about 200 miles a year. Lavies (Mangrove Wilderness, p. 559, etc.) does a yeoman's job of demystifying the killer bees, though the text can be mighty wooden at times. The good news is that these bees are not, individually, a great menace, and that simple precautions in their territory minimizes any risks. Informative, with close-up photos to interest kids. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-525-45243-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

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