A popular subject, but Lloyd Kyi never gets to the bottom of it.




Snappy writing gives this history some “briefs” appeal, but it’s too scantily clad in specifics.

“We all own it. We all wear it. We all wash it. (At least, I hope we do!)” Lloyd Kyi follows up 50 Burning Questions: A Sizzling History of Fire (2010) with a like number of posers on styles and changing fashions of undies worldwide and through history—though her view of the topic is broad enough to include mentions of loincloths, chain mail and other items more often worn as outerwear. She slips from the goatskin garment worn by the prehistoric “Iceman” and the mawashi that Japanese sumo wrestlers sport to contemporary undershorts with pockets for cellphones and the “union suit gone cyber” that astronauts wear while spacewalking. As colorful as her general observations and terse anecdotes are, though, there isn’t much substance or system to her study—readers curious about the etymology of “skivvies” or “g-strings,” what the “bejeweled undershirts” that were outlawed in London at some unspecified time looked like or the nature of the athletic “technology” developed by Under Armour will be left in the dark. Even when she does go into detail about, for instance, farthingales or how the Papua New Guinea women’s maro displays marital status, instead of a helpful archival or other illustration, Kinnaird’s cartoon images supply only jokey filler.

A popular subject, but Lloyd Kyi never gets to the bottom of it. (further reading, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55451-353-6

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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How and when the Western Hemisphere, particularly North and South America, came to be populated continues to be both mysterious and controversial for scientists. Archaeologists plug away with the tools at their disposal but have “more questions than answers.” Harrison does a good job setting the issue in context. He describes the earliest efforts to identify the original inhabitants of the continents, exploring the Clovis culture, believed by many to be the first humans to reach North America. After clearly explaining how scholars decided that they were first, he then lists the arguments against this hypothesis. In the course of looking at both sides, he introduces young readers to “the strict rules of archaeology.” The author demonstrates the precise work of those attempting to understand the hidden aspects of human history and how many of these old questions are seen in the light of new technologies and discoveries. The narrative is aided by both photographs and original illustrations that imagine scenes from both the distant past and the field experiences. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-561-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Jones catches the beauty of fair trade in the way it strengthens morale and human dignity for all those engaged, and she...



From the Orca Footprints series

“Fair trade is not about spending more money or buying more stuff. It’s about bringing justice to people around the world.” Fair enough.

And as readers take Jones’ tour through the lands of fair trade and its role in social justice, they learn where things come from and go to. The story of fair trade is quite buoyant, because it is not just a pipe dream. As Jones notes in one of the numerous, captivating factoids that pepper the margins of the book, “fair trade products are now sold in more than 120 countries.” Numerous stock photographs bring a snappy immediacy to the story, as do Jones’ anecdotes of her own experiences with fair trade. Jones does a particularly good job bringing individuals to the fore so that readers can both identify with them and learn how these people can band together with other small producers into cooperatives to become a market force. “Ninety percent of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by about six million farmers,” so it doesn’t take a math genius to appreciate that buying fair trade chocolate benefits a lot of people. Jones also presents a handful of ways that kids can encourage fair trade awareness.

Jones catches the beauty of fair trade in the way it strengthens morale and human dignity for all those engaged, and she provides a grounded (and painless) introduction to world geography. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1043-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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