KING ARTHUR AND THE LEGENDS OF CAMELOT

Once again the great story is told: Merlin prophesies; Arthur pulls one sword from a stone and receives another from the Lady of the Lake; the knights disperse to seek the Grail; Arthur falls to Mordred's spear and is borne to Avalon. Women's roles are particularly equivocal here: Guinevere is good but weak (``Arthur was a great king...but he was not a great lover as Lancelot was''); Morgan Le Fay is evil but steadfast in carrying out her vow to avenge her father's death; Tristram is killed not by King Mark but by his own wife's jealousy; Elaine's dying wish is that her corpse be used to inflame Lancelot with guilt. Perham's style is formal and distant, emphasizing chivalrous behavior and courtly graces. Grand knights have at one another in Heller's color illustrations, while misty pencil drawings add magic and, sometimes, feeling to other scenes. Browsers may enjoy the dramatic pictures, but the book is uncomfortably designed—heavy in the hand, with tiny type on coated paper. Not a significant improvement on Riordan's Tales of King Arthur (1982) or other standard renditions. (Folklore. 14+)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-670-84990-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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TOP LAWYERS AND THEIR FAMOUS CASES

According to Emert, the eight lawyers profiled in this book all shared a ``commitment to the causes of justice, fairness, and equality.'' Andrew Hamilton, John Adams, and Abraham Lincoln played prominent leadership roles in American history. Belva Lockwood, the first woman lawyer to appear before the US Supreme Court, assisted the Cherokee Indians in their monetary claim against the government. Clarence Darrow (the Scopes trial), Robert H. Jackson (the German war-crimes trial), and Joseph Welch (the McCarthy hearings) exemplified lawyers whose trial skills were at the highest levels. Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and ``the first attorney to file suit against a racist organization,'' has won substantial monetary judgments against the Ku Klux Klan and the White Aryan Resistance; his work continues today. Emert (All That Glitters, 1995, not reviewed, etc.) presents legal theories in clear and concise language; the tone is intentionally admirable in keeping with the book's goal of counteracting the negative image of lawyers. It meets and surpasses that goal, hands down. (b&w photos, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14+)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 1996

ISBN: 1-881508-31-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

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FROM THE HEART

LIGHT-HEARTED VERSE

In the same delicately precise style and brilliant colors of his Bizarre Birds and Beasts (1991), Marsh paints plants and animals cleverly posed to form hearts as integral parts of the decorative designs illustrating his ``light-hearted verse'': a ram's horns (``Warm-Hearted,'' concluding, ``...I must declare that I love ewe''); the space between two hippos' open jaws (``Big-Hearted''); an autumnal pear (pair) tree (``Change of Heart''); a barbed-wired frame, dripping blood and entwined with roses, with tiny cupids to sharpen points and also offer bandaids (``Empty-Hearted''). The accompanying verses are neatly scanned and spiced with ironies, puns, and—occasionally—odd facts: ``Here's a most romantic thing; / Dragonflies mate on the wing! / When secure in their embrace, / Procreation's taking place.'' This should be a hot item in bookstores for Valentine's Day; it also suggests some creative uses for art or poetry classes. (Poetry/Picture book. YA)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8037-1449-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1992

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