Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Art of Reading

Book Information
Reading is Fundamental. The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary. New York: Dutton Books, 2005.

My Review
This book is a treasure trove.  It highlights books that inspired forty well-established illustrators. From well-known classics (including Charlotte's Web and The Outsiders) to lesser-known books (especially The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber), readers get a snapshot of a variety of books. Equally important, through the short essays and through illustrations that each artist creates about their chosen books, young readers can see how reading provokes thought and motivates achievement.

Reading Is Fundamental is a literacy-focused nonprofit group whose goal is to achieve a reading America, inspiring children to become lifelong readers. Their services include free books and resources for children and families that need them the most. Their website ( features a variety of activities, book lists and articles about literacy.

My Notes
My favourite illustration was Kevin Hawkes` Freddy the Detective, in which Freddy is shown holding a magnifying glass. Readers can see that Freddy`s shadow is in the shape of a boy wearing a Sherlock Holmes outfit. As Hawkes described it, the shadow represented himself as a boy, searching for clues for the next Freddy mystery.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Book Information
Tanigawa, Nagaru. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. New York, NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010.

Book Summary and Review
The superpowerful, superpopular Haruhi Suzumiya is back at it in another light read from Sneaker award-winning author Nagaru Tanigawa. One confusing December day, Kyon wakes up in an alternate reality in which the superhero team "SOS Brigade" has not been formed. Who has caused this change, and how can it be fixed?

With a driven plot and manga illustrations, complete with Haruhi's usual craziness, this book is a really fast read.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Geographic Concise History of Science and Invention

Book Information
National Geographic. National Geographic Concise History of Science and Invention: An Illustrated Timeline. Washington, D.C.:National Geographic, 2009.

My Review
This highly entertaining and informative book has something for everyone. It's full of quick facts for fast readers, and there are many in-depth articles for amateur historians and scientists. Large glossy photos of extraordinary images (including bacteria, early planes and original automobiles) are found throughout the book. This book is an excellent choice for a casual flip-through or for a thorough read.

My Notes
The timeline's only obvious fault is that the section dedicated to North American events skips the birth of Canada in 1867.