Denouncing past social norms, these tales are bewitching.

THROUGH THE WATER CURTAIN

An anthology of diverse tales that stray away from the norm.

This collection of 13 lesser-known fairy tales from Europe and Asia begins with the Japanese tale of a boy who continually draws cats, emphasizing a hero who finds his artistic ability and the life it creates. From Germany, the tale of six brothers who turn into swans and their sister who saves them by not speaking for years presents a different kind of heroine, with patience and quiet strength. “The One-Handed Murderer,” from Italy, is a tale of a strong, independent woman who saves herself from the titular villain. The words of these tales create enthralling images, transporting readers to earlier times and enchanted worlds. Editor Funke introduces the collection, explaining her attraction to the darker, unorthodox stories. Refreshingly, many of these tales differ from the more famous ones that follow a patriarchal, middle-class view. Each story has its rebellious hero or heroine and an atypical happy ending. After each tale, Funke explains why she loves it or how it shaped her novels. Giving context to the periods and countries of the tales, she critically analyzes and reflects on their conveyed social values.

Denouncing past social norms, these tales are bewitching. (Folktales. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78269-200-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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SKYWALKERS

MOHAWKS ON THE HIGH STEEL

Weaving together architectural, engineering and Native American history, Weitzman tells the fascinating story of how Mohawk Indian ironworkers helped construct the sprawling bridges and towering skyscrapers that dominate our urban landscape. The book begins with a brief but informative history of the Kanien'kéhaka—People of the Flint. Leaders in establishing the League of the Iroquois, a confederation of Indian nations in the New York region, Mohawks had a longstanding reputation for their sense of tight-knit community, attraction to danger and love for physical challenge, qualities that served them well when hired in the late 1800s to do the most arduous work in railroad and bridge construction. With the advent of the skyscraper, Mohawks possessing agility that seemed gravity-defying worked hundreds of feet above the ground. They were not immune to tragedy, and the author discusses in detail the collapse of the Québec Bridge that killed 31 Mohawk workers. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that capture the daring spirit of these heroic workers, the concise, captivating account offers great insight into the little-known but considerable role Native Americans played in our architectural and engineering achievements. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-162-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys.

A JOURNEY THROUGH ART

A GLOBAL HISTORY

A world tour featuring select highlights of human culture, from 37,000-year-old rock paintings to modern murals and architecture.

Title notwithstanding, after a visit to the prehistoric petroglyphs at Nawarla Gabarnmung in northern Australia (and with a 19th-century stop at Haida Gwaii for a gander at Pacific Northwest Native woodcarving), Rosen focuses more on cities or large settlements and urban ways of life through the ages than on specific works or styles of art. His itinerary is determinedly “global,” though, covering every continent but Antarctica from 13th-century B.C.E. Thebes to art and architecture created for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Each stop along the way opens with an overview of the site and its distinctive character accompanied by a wide-angle picture painted by Dalzell and dotted with tiny clipped photos of statues or other figures. On the following spread further concise observations on customs and culture accompany three or four smaller (sometimes, alas, minuscule) photos of significant monuments, artifacts, or paintings with explanatory notes. Though the author hustles readers past the Rosetta Stone and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man without benefit of visuals, a satiric Egyptian papyrus offers an eye-opening treat—and in more recent times he boosts the presence of women among his sparse tally of artists by, for instance, pairing works of Judith Leyster and Rembrandt, Mary Cassatt with Claude Monet.

Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65101-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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