Children's Book ReviewsPage One of Two
The Drums of Noto Hanto by J. Alison James, Illustrations by TsukushiDK, Inc., 1999
Hardcover, 40 pages
In 1576, the people in the village of Nabune, Japan, on the Noto Hanto coast, successfully drove off invading samuari in an incident that is still celebrated in modern day festivals. The ruthless, sword-wielding samaurai were going to invade from their ships. But the wily villagers made and wore fearsome masks and beat the drums as loud as they could all night long. In the fog, the villagers appeared to be demon spirits pounding drums of war and the samuari reconsidered their attack, eventually leaving to find easier prey. This retelling of the true tale by J. Alison James with the beautiful and vivid cut paper "paintings" by the talented Tsukushi, is extraordinarily well-done. The story invites participation; as the dramatic tale unfolds, the sounds of all the different drums rise to a crescendo at the climax of the story. "DON don DON don...Kada Kada KADA KADA DON!" beat the drums, both large and small, until they echo in your ears. This is a wonderful story which is sure to be a favorite, and is an excellent vehicle for sharing other cultures with your children. Highly recommended.
Great Dinosaur Atlas by William Lindsay, Illustrated by Giuliano FornariDK Publishing, Nov., 1999.
Hardcover, 64 pages
The dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth 65 million years ago, yet the cause of their extinction remains a mystery. Although many theories have been proposed, including the asteroid theory, none adequately explains why some species were wiped out almost overnight and others survived to evolve into the mammals that walk the earth today. The Great Dinosaur Atlas is a comprehensive, vividly illustrated reference work which is sure to have children of all ages glued to its pages. The books shows how the Earth's continents have shifted over time, and describes all the major geologic ages and the dinosaurs which thrived in each time period. The carnivores and the plant eaters, the reptiles of the seas, and the reptiles in the air are all portrayed in startlingly real detail. Descriptions of the various dinosaurs' habits and details of how modern paleontological excavations are also provided. This thorough dinosaur guide is a must have for the family library. Highly recommended.
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