Thursday, August 30, 2012
1) L' Engle, Madeleine and Hope Larson. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. 2012. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. Hardbound: 392 pages. Price: $19.99 U.S.
SUMMARY: The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O'Keefe, and the three Mrs--Who, Whatsit, and Which--the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated. Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the book should enjoy this graphic novel.
2) Stahl, Carmine and Ria McElvaney. Trees of Texas: An Easy Guide to Leaf Identification. 2003 (reprinted 2012). Texas A&M University Press. Paperback: 288 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Texas is long overdue for a new, accessible, innovative tree book. This guide to the identification of just over two hundred of Texas’ most common native and naturalized trees brims over with life-sized, black-and-white photographs of leaves, fruit, flowers, and bark. Scanned directly from actual specimens, these images accompany species descriptions that include height, growth rate, commercial or wildlife value, family, and vegetation region of the trees, alongside captivating folklore and interesting cultural and historical annotations.To aid in identification, the authors have organized the book by leaf shape and provide a simple but clear, illustrated key to help the reader match the leaf he or she is looking at to the pertinent description.
For the more knowledgeable reader who may not need help with actual identification, scientific and common names appear in the index. Appendixes list trees by family, by scientific and common names, by region, and as introduced species. Just for fun, the authors have added appendixes for wild edible recipes, light and water requirements, and butterfly host trees. A brief introduction and a glossary are also included in the manuscript.McElvaney and Stahl’s The Trees of Texas is innovatively organized and friendly to the novice, using life-sized illustrations as a visual guide to common native and naturalized trees. Perfect for people who want to learn to identify trees without wading through confusing technical terms, it makes a handy reference for libraries, schools, and nature centers. It is also suited for people with interests as diverse as the historical uses of plants, native plant gardening, attracting wildlife, and Texas history.
RECOMMENDATION: The lack of color illustrations in the main text of this book limits its usefulness.