Akira is Japan's Akira Kurosawa, the celebrated twentieth century film director, and Zolt n is Zolt n Kod ly, born in Hungary and inventor of the Kod ly method of teaching music to children. Twenty four other famous (and not so famous) men are profiled here, and Chin-Lee has succeeded in finding representatives from all over the planet to complete her list of world-changers. Also successful are the clever collages that illustrate each man's biography. However, the text is too advanced for a picture book biography, and these collages give the impression that this book is for young readers only. Each biography is completed with a quotation from the subject, and while some of these quotations are inspiring ("Be always positive and follow the truth" from United States Senator Hiram Fong), some are simply puzzling ("I would rather play `Chiquita Banana' and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" from Xavier Cugat, a distracting and confounding choice for inclusion). A bibliography is appended for additional reading and study, but some of the electronic links are unavailable, and a few of the suggested books are more than twenty-five-years old. However, the author's ecumenical subject choices do much to outweigh the book's problems. The inclusion of Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Diego Rivera, and Mohandas Gandhi are fine, although one could ask if either Tiger Woods or Greg Louganis has really changed the world—yet. Early readers might enjoy this introduction to biography, a companion book to Chin-Lee's Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This companion volume to Chin-Lee's Amelia to Zora (Charlesbridge, 2005) has capsule biographies of 26 men-some famous, some lesser-known-representing ethnic diversity and a variety of professions. The entries, all one page, cover individuals as varied as Akira Kurosawa and Pel . Each page includes brief biographical information and covers the subject's significant contributions in succinct, readable prose. A quote from each man is incorporated into the lovely mixed-media illustrations that grace every entry. Representing several categories of performing arts, writers and poets, architects, political leaders, doctors, and astronauts, the intriguing and informative text expands upon the general conception of what it means to be famous by focusing on what makes a difference in the world. The concluding bibliography leads readers to deeper works in both print and nonprint sources. A worthy purchase, both in informational and illustrative terms, this title provides a starting place for research on any of these figures as it demonstrates the importance of passion in work.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In a companion to Amelia to Zora (2005), Chin-Lee selects an alphabetical array of men for the same treatment-a two or three paragraph biographical precis that includes a childhood incident, a description of important accomplishments and a pithy quote. Though such usual suspects as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are in the broadly international lineup, so are plenty of surprises (as you'd guess from the title), from filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and composer Zoltan Kodaly to Pashtun leader Badshah Abdul Ghaffa Khan, poet Octavio Paz, athlete Greg Louganis and bandleader Xavier Cugat Mingall.