From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-While the title indicates that this offering is about Gutenberg, an equal amount of space is allotted to the history of printing, beginning with Chinese papermaking and block-printing and the Korean invention of movable metal type. Koscielniak explains how books were handmade and individually penned to order in 15th-century Europe and presents detailed information about bookbinding, from preparing the vellum to illuminating, assembling, trimming, and decorating the volumes. After this overview, Gutenberg's revolutionary idea for a printing press is introduced and the printer's successes and difficulties are recounted. Written in a straightforward style, the text is filled with facts. Lively line drawings with loose watercolor washes cover double-page spreads. Illustrations of people with short legs and extremely long arms give the artwork a cartoonlike appearance, adding detail and humor to the text. Unfortunately, there is no variation in skin tones or facial features when different ethnic groups are represented. Leonard Everett Fisher's Gutenberg (Macmillan, 1993) provides more information about this innovator's life, while Michael Pollard's Johann Gutenberg (Blackbirch, 2001) offers greater detail about the lawsuit that cost him his livelihood. A supplemental purchase.Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. The art and practicality of bookmaking get an attractive treatment in this fully illustrated volume, which provides a clear, concise history up to the time of Gutenberg's press. Though this spotlights Johann Gutenberg as an innovator who developed a way of casting metal type, a linseed-based ink, and a press to allow the transfer of inked letters to paper, the book also looks at printing with moveable type as it had developed much earlier in China and Korea. An explanation of the techniques and expense of labor-intensive book production in medieval Europe sets the stage for a good, brief description of Gutenberg's contributions and experiences as a printer. The pleasing line drawings and the subtle hues of Boscielniak's watercolors give the illustrations an informal look that makes their informative content all the more accessible. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved