Journeys: Tales of Travel and Trailblazers by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Chris Chalik, Dave Shepard, Jon Davis, Leo Hartas


   Journeys: Tales of Travel and Trailblazers by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Chris Chalik, Dave Shepard, Jon Davis, Leo Hartas. 360 Degrees, 2018. 9781944530136

Format: Hardcover, large format (9 1/2 x 12)

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

What did you like about the book? This attractive book gives brief overviews of human exploration throughout recorded history, over water, land, ice and snow, and using various vehicles. It aims to bring to light lesser known adventurers and unusual quests, successful or not. The art’s limited palette of watery blue and green with ink on cream paper lends the air of a sketchbook journal.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Sadly, this book has only its elegant appearance to recommend it. The text talks down to its intended audience of 9-12 yr olds – it is written like a 1950s text book. Exclamation points make it seems like it’s trying too hard. Euro-centric stereotypes of explorers abound, with the places they explored called “mysterious” or “magical.” The illustrations add little to understanding the time and place of the journeys described. The men and women are depicted like cartoons out of vintage comic books, and have little personality and differentiation. Also, there are not enough maps for readers to be able to visualize the length of the explorers’ journeys. No sources are given.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I would not recommend this book.

Who should buy this book? This is not an essential purchase.

Where would you shelve it ? 910

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas

Date of review: February 10. 2018

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