101 AMAZING OPTICAL ILLUSIONS

Several different kinds of illusions (physiological illusions, e.g., afterimages; physical illusions, e.g., the result of refraction or reflection; perceptual illusions, e.g., ambiguous pictures; etc.) are explored in this large full-color volume that contains more than the 101 examples of the title. Jennings includes directions for making a number of demonstrations and optical toys. The explanations are cursory at best—Seymour Simon's The Optical Illusion Book (1984) is still the standard—but this is an attractive introduction to the subject for those who want the ``wow'' without the ``why'' in any great detail. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8069-9462-2

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

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FIRST FLIGHT

THE STORY OF TOM TATE AND THE WRIGHT BROTHERS

This is a true tale of a boy who befriended the aviation pioneers and who was the second person to fly in their original glider. No one believes Tom, a Kitty Hawk resident and reputed storyteller, when he claims to have met two men from Ohio who are planning to fly through the air. The scoffing does not subside when Tom truthfully states that he flew the glider. Over the years, the Wright brothers make trips to Kitty Hawk, each time refining their machine, until the successful 1903 flight—and Tom is always there to witness it. This entry in the I Can Read Chapter Book series seems just right for new readers: Tom's presence makes the historical incident more accessible. The tale, with its limited vocabulary, doesn't allow for much character development, but has enough inherent drama to overcome the format. Bolognese's pictures add an old-fashioned touch, with a refreshingly simple palette that warmly evokes the era. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-024503-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1996

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Macho prose full of praise for would-be warriors and the men who train them, seemingly designed to enthrall young men, boost...

CHOSEN SOLDIER

THE MAKING OF A SPECIAL FORCES WARRIOR

Former Navy SEAL Couch redeploys the you-are-there approach of The Warrior Elite (2001) to depict the grueling training undergone by Army Special Forces Class 8-04.

Popularly known as the Green Berets, this elite program has a graduation rate of less than one in five. Beginning in August 2004, the author stayed for ten months at Camp Mackall in North Carolina, following the men closely as they were winnowed and hardened by the Special Forces Qualification Course and subsequent specialized training programs. First, however, Couch gives civilian readers some basic information about the mission and organization of Special Forces, a group that he believes is essential to winning the global war on terrorism. Standards are high, and candidates undergo mental and psychological screening as well as physical and professional assessment. The Green Berets, Couch stresses, are soldier-teachers who must be able to connect with and train local people to battle insurgents in their own country. Using lots of army acronyms and lingo, the veteran novelist (Silent Descent, 1993, etc.) creates an on-the-spot picture of the men’s tough, dirty and exhausting daily life. Couch not only observes and reports on the exceptionally demanding classroom- and field-training, he interviews many students and their instructors. Class members, here given pseudonyms, seem to talk freely about their reasons for being in the program and their reactions to the training; staff comments about the men (including those who leave, voluntarily or involuntarily) are also frank.

Macho prose full of praise for would-be warriors and the men who train them, seemingly designed to enthrall young men, boost recruitment and please the army.

Pub Date: March 6, 2007

ISBN: 0-307-33938-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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