From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World [NOOK Book]

Overview



What was made of rags and bones, soot and seeds? What took a mountain to make?

For the answer, travel back to the fifteenth century—to a time when books were made by hand and a man named Johannes Gutenberg invented a way to print books with movable type.

Written as a series of riddles and illustrated in the style of medieval manuscripts by an award-winning author and artist, From the Good Mountain will intrigue readers of all ages. On every ...

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Overview



What was made of rags and bones, soot and seeds? What took a mountain to make?

For the answer, travel back to the fifteenth century—to a time when books were made by hand and a man named Johannes Gutenberg invented a way to print books with movable type.

Written as a series of riddles and illustrated in the style of medieval manuscripts by an award-winning author and artist, From the Good Mountain will intrigue readers of all ages. On every page there is something surprising to learn about how the very thing you are holding in your hands came to be.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rumford frames this expressive introduction to Gutenberg and his revolutionary printing press as a riddle, describing a "mysterious" object that arrived in the city of Mainz, Germany, around 1450. "It was made of rags and bones, soot and seeds.... What was it?" Subsequent pages concisely describe the processes by which paper, leather, and ink were made. Like the books Gutenberg printed, the borders of Rumford's stately ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are illuminated—initially by spirals of golden flowers, and later, nodding to the evolution of the book, by the crisp wires of circuit boards. Ages 4–8. Agent: Jeff Dwyer, Dwyer & O'Grady. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"...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

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, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Ironically, this book honors the inventor of the printing press more through illustrations than words. Sumptuously illustrated in the style of medieval manuscripts, this title offers fascinating descriptions of the steps and materials involved in 15th-century bookmaking. Children will savor the explanations and detailed, jewellike illustrations that clearly convey the procedures, substances and skill that went into the preparation of what the text calls a "mysterious thing." Each process and component is discussed on a page that ends in a riddle, answered on a facing page. When Gutenberg (German for from the good mountain) enters, it's almost anticlimactic. Still, his printing press's success and the illumination and binding of his first efforts are lucidly related, and a sample page is illustrated. Only on the final page of the story does the author confirm what the press actually produced. Overall, adults will likely be more captivated than children, having greater perspective on and appreciation for what Gutenberg brought forth; no explanation for how Gutenberg's innovation changed the world is presented for youngsters. However, even adults will be frustrated by the lack of glossary and sources. Young readers desiring further information are given a list of terms to search for on the Internet, though this seems a frail substitute. An homage that is ultimately more a testament to the author-illustrator's own bookmaking skills than paean to the inventor of movable type. (epilogue, key search terms) (Picture books/biography. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466817364
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,247,131
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 35 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


As a papermaker, letterpress printer, and binder, James Rumford brings to this most recent book not only his love of the printed book but also his knowledge of a craft fast disappearing. James lives in Honolulu with his wife Carol, where he runs Manoa Press, which makes handmade books. From the Good Mountain is his third book for Roaring Brook Press.
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