Here's another one earmarked for a special friend - specifically, a kid who laps up the mythologies of our world. This'n casts its net wide in order tHere's another one earmarked for a special friend - specifically, a kid who laps up the mythologies of our world. This'n casts its net wide in order to survey and sample an enormous number of stories from all over the world and all through time.
Visual representation is in a golden age right now. Everybody is all about the infographic, the efficient distillation of data and/or ideas into imageVisual representation is in a golden age right now. Everybody is all about the infographic, the efficient distillation of data and/or ideas into images that are easy to understand - and perhaps show that information from a different angle, one which gives us more insight into the material. Magazines plot trends onto hot-or-not axes, sandwiches are examined in exploded diagrams, hell, you can even try to parse the federal budget in a verrry complicated bubble chart.
The best of these products are art in their own right, hence everybody and their brother always trying to give me the U.S. Forest Service's Cocktail Construction Chart and Super Graphic. Firmly in this category is Plotted, a collection of essays and maps examining 19 works of literature. It's beautiful. Finely drawn and richly colored, full of detail, it invites the reader to sink in and examine every inch. The map of Crusoe's island evolves as the castaway explores it, names it and tames it. The cast of Hamlet creeps around the castle like little Billy dawdling on his way home in a Family Circle comic.
This book came into the house and I was thrilled, but I figured only I would be interested in it. Not so. Milo, who is 14, snatched it up. The first map is the Aegean as traveled by Odysseus in The Odyssey - an obvious choice, as the story correlates to place so closely, and a story that my son knows. However, once he got the concept - and this is where opening with The Odyssey is a genius move - he moved on to books that he doesn't know.
"Hey, mom," he says. "Who are the Willoughbys?" I was driving, so I asked him what he was looking at. "Well the guy's drawn their house like they're pretending they're fine and they have money, but behind the front wall it's all crumbling." So there you go. When and if he reads Pride and Prejudice he's going to be armed with insight into how the families jockey for stature and the consequences of the matches that the young people make.
I have had this thing, published by National Geo Kids, in my house for the better part of a year, and I just love dipping in and out of it. In additioI have had this thing, published by National Geo Kids, in my house for the better part of a year, and I just love dipping in and out of it. In addition to great big beautiful pictures of the New Look and miniskirts and hoop skirts and everything in between, we learn about economic and geographic and political and technological factors that made whalebone corsets possible or allowed people to dye cloth blue or brought about pants for women. Any young person with an analytical turn of mind will love how cause and effect strings together in these stories.
Popular YouTube baker Pansino shows us how to make Red Blood Cell cupcakes, cookies that look like game controllers, and a really nice volcano cake. NPopular YouTube baker Pansino shows us how to make Red Blood Cell cupcakes, cookies that look like game controllers, and a really nice volcano cake. Now, any cookbook with this kind of gimmick is going to mostly be about decorating, and sure enough, there's a lot of the Three F's here: fondant, food coloring, and fine motor skills. My Ezra likes to bake, but he'd get repetitive stress injury if he tried to decorate 20-sided Dice Cookies.
However, this book also contains plenty of recipes that are totally doable in an afternoon - without blowing your allowance in the Wilton's aisle at the craft store or going blind piping royal icing onto a cake pop. Let's just say Unicorn Poop cookies and Petri Dish Jellies are totally happening at my house. PLUS, Pansino cops to being dyslexic, so there are at least 6 process photos per recipe - more for the super complicated ones. It's a well-crafted cookbook with projects perfect for parties.
I read Rhythm Ride while my husband was reading Once in a Great City by David Maraniss. Both books covered Berry Gordy and the unique factors that madI read Rhythm Ride while my husband was reading Once in a Great City by David Maraniss. Both books covered Berry Gordy and the unique factors that made Detroit ground zero for hit after hit after hit throughout the 60's and 70's. But Andrea's book reads like your cool auntie telling you a story, and Bob didn't finish the Maraniss book. So there.
Ok don't tell my kids, but this is one I actually did buy. Munroe is the creator of xkcd, and his book What If... has been read to ribbons in my houseOk don't tell my kids, but this is one I actually did buy. Munroe is the creator of xkcd, and his book What If... has been read to ribbons in my house. How does Thing Explainer differ from those other projects? I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog-faced buffoon. That's right - in this book, Munroe has limited himself to using only the 1000 most common words in the English language. This explains the lilting, rather Boovish syntax of the captions in the illustration above. If you've got a smarty-pants in your life, or even a would-be smarty-pants, this funny thing is the book for them.
Everything Steve Jenkins touches is going to be great to look at - the guy makes his own paper and then cuts and tears it into shapes so he can make fEverything Steve Jenkins touches is going to be great to look at - the guy makes his own paper and then cuts and tears it into shapes so he can make fabulous, textured collages of plants and animals from near and far. He frequently works with his wife Robin Page, whose humor and ability to explain natural phenomena are real assets. So in this book you'll get step-by-step instructions on how to catch fish with bubbles (helps if you are an aquatic mammal with a tail), spin a web, and, of course, detach your jaw so that you can swallow a whole pig.
I was reading this at work and left it lying on a counter at the reference desk. Half an hour later, the librarian who relieved me on the desk approaches brandishing the book. "Have you SEEN this? This book is fantastic!" So don't take my word for it, listen to young Bryon.
The LEGO books put out by No Starch Press, including The Neighborhood LEGO Book, LEGO Adventure, and Beautiful LEGO, among others, are great books toThe LEGO books put out by No Starch Press, including The Neighborhood LEGO Book, LEGO Adventure, and Beautiful LEGO, among others, are great books to buy, not borrow. They are better-constructed than the DK LEGO books (i.e. the page block won't break off the binding the first time the book falls off a table), and include beautiful builds, photographs of real objects and buildings, great - if complicated - instructions, and just... you can tell that the people involved in the making of these books are passionate and knowledgeable. Each one is a treat that respects the LEGO child.
Here's an opportunity to praise an editor. Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt must have been the one who paired Gabi Swiatkowska with Barbara Herkert's pHere's an opportunity to praise an editor. Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt must have been the one who paired Gabi Swiatkowska with Barbara Herkert's picture book script about Mary Cassatt - at the very least, she's the one who signed off on it. And it's a genius matchup. Here's why.
Holy cow, man! I have been hearing about this book literally for years, as Erin Hagar is local and a friend of a couple of my co-workers. So I was preHoly cow, man! I have been hearing about this book literally for years, as Erin Hagar is local and a friend of a couple of my co-workers. So I was prepared to like it. And of course, also, it's Julia, and who doesn't love Julia?
But it is SO GOOD. Julia's voice rings out from the pages, whether she is bored doing office work, climbing trees with her childhood friend, or admiring her new kitchen ("it's a wowzer!" she writes in a letter to her longtime long-distance friend Avis DeVoto).
Like other reviewers on Goodreads, I found myself pausing my reading to fire up YouTube to watch her burn French onion soup in her second episode on WGBH, and giggle anew at her forthright manner. I realized that everything my dad taught me about kitchen knives probably came from Julia. I also realized that everything I want to be when I speak in public - relaxed, knowledgeable, warm - comes from Julia too.
There are a lot of books about Julia. This is the one that captures her personality the way her recipes do, the way the cameras did in Boston for all those years. And the art does this too. Magnificent wordless pages give us scenes from Julia's life like film stills - in a muted, nostalgia-tinged palette and with nearly photorealistic detail the content comes forward, allowing us to examine a menu, a camera, a page from her first cookbook. The expertise and sensitivity of this artist is deep and wide.
I am so thrilled that Erin Hagar will be talking about this book at KidLitCon 2015, October 9-10 at the Baltimore HyattPlace Hotel....more
Most students are likely unfamiliar with the story of Ira Aldridge, the nineteenth-century black American actor who rose to fame on the English stage.Most students are likely unfamiliar with the story of Ira Aldridge, the nineteenth-century black American actor who rose to fame on the English stage. At the time, a free black man was unlikely to win speaking parts in mainstream theater in the U.S. But for Ira, the lure of the stage, and especially the works of Shakespeare, was strong. Ira’s father wanted him to use his oratory skills to become a preacher, but Ira defied his father’s wishes, spending his time gaining acclaim as a performer at a black theater. When two British actors offered him passage to England, he left New York and made a name for himself in Europe, notably becoming the first black actor to play Othello on stage. Cooper’s realistic, warm oil paintings have a grainy appearance, which imparts the haze of age without reducing the vitality of the figures. Meanwhile, Armand’s engaging paragraphs, peppered with Shakespearean lines, artfully relay Ira’s passion, trepidation, and eventual boldness as he follows his dreams. A valuable addition to any biography collection.— Paula Willey Reviewed for Booklist...more