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There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky Hardcover – July 21, 2009
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—In the style of "There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly," Sloat reflects upon the Stone Age paintings discovered by a young girl, in 1879, on the ceiling of the Altamira Cave in northern Spain. They seem to represent the creation of the world, and he tries to re-create the child's thoughts as she viewed them. Vitale's glorious mixed-media illustrations on board, bursting with beautifully toned colors and an array of eye-catching patterns and stylized figures, are clearly the focus here. They depict moon and sun, stars and planets, day and night, fish, birds, animals, and people, and an old man within a circle who appears to be the creator of it all. The paintings are filled with texture as well as color—smooth folds of cave rock; light-speckled waves in the ocean depths; the cracked surface of the moon. An author's note tells how the cave paintings were discovered. This reality-based piece shows that, since ancient times, people have tried to explain, through stories, how the world was created. However, the style of the text—repetitive, rhyming verses based on a familiar nonsense song—seems the wrong choice for this introduction to an important archaeological discovery, and Sloat's sometimes nonsensical verse with accompanying paintings of primitively drawn striped and spotted people does little to introduce young children to cave paintings.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH END
“In ‘There Was an Old Man' Teri Sloat weaves together disparate elements to great effect.” ―Newsday
“Sloat offers a handsome, thought-provoking story…Vitale's vibrant illustrations, in mixed media on board, reference both cave drawings and folk art. Appropriate for a wide audience, this will find its ideal fit with families wishing to impart similar beliefs about Earth's beginnings to their children.” ―Booklist
“Fascinating and thought-provoking.” ―Kirkus Reviews