From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-While technically a biography, this beautifully illustrated title is also a history of the early printed book. Through a series of riddles, Rumford explains and illustrates the materials and process Gutenberg used to create the first printed book. By describing the creation of each material used (paper, ink, colored pigments, leather, metal type, etc.), he shows just how difficult it was. The author packs in a great deal of information regarding bookmaking, illuminated manuscripts, and paper craft, but the detail is not overwhelming. The meticulous pen-and-ink drawings are colored with watercolor and gouache and clearly demonstrate (sometimes humorously) the processes described in the text. After describing the materials, Rumford walks readers through the (then) revolutionary process of using a printing press. The author's passion for early bookmaking shines through in the writing. In the epilogue, he explains how little is known of Gutenberg's life and quickly summarizes the printing process since the 1450s. He also poses a question about what future books will look like. A nontraditional keyword list invites readers to do Internet searches to find out more information. This book truly is a labor of love-it took the author more than two years to write and illustrate. For public library collections, this will take some (very worthwhile) hand-selling. It would be a beautiful addition to social-studies units about medieval Europe, inventions, and even literacy.-Lisa Crandall, Capital Area District Library, Holt, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"...a beautiful addition to social-studies units about medieval Europe, inventions, and even literacy.”—School Library Journal, starred
"…a lyrical investigation of the high tech world of the fifteenth century.”--BCCB
“[an] expressive introduction to Gutenberg and his revolutionary printing press.”—Publishers Weekly
"...offers fascinating descriptions of the steps and materials involved in 15th-century bookmaking."—Kirkus
“…intriguingly designed and vividly illustrated…” —Booklist