If you are passionate about sushi and dream about eating at sushi master chef Jiro Ono’s Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant, this book is definitely recommended reading before dining at the restaurant.
TITLE: Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy
PUBLISHER: Viz Media
PAGES: 100 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 14, 2016
For sushi enthusiasts, the name Jiro Ono is internationally known.
The sushi chef is considered one of the greatest sushi craftsman alive and in Ginza, his restaurant “Sukiyabashi Jiro” has received a three-Michelin-starred rating. There is also a restaurant in Roppongi as well.
And many more people are familiar thanks to the 2011 David Gelb documentary titled “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.
But before anyone goes to Sukiyabashi Jiro, there are rules that many people have posted online that one should know before going to the restaurant. For one, expect to pay at least $300 minimum (Y30,000), no photos are allowed to be taken and last, because many people are trying to get in (there are only 10-seats available), you are seated and are presented one sushi after the other.
Similar to some curry restaurants in Japan or even a few sushi restaurants in Tsukiji, this is one of those sushi restaurants where conversation is not what you want to do. You get in there and you eat your 20 courses of sushi and then you leave, it’s not a restaurant where you soak up the ambiance and hang out with friends for hours.
Also, it’s good to know the proper ways of eating sushi before visiting Sukiyabashi Jiro and fortunately, a 100-page pocketbook titled “Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy” is now available, courtesy of Viz Media.
“Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy” introduces readers to the sushi varieties served throughout the year at Sukiyabashi Jiro, how to eat sushi and also how to dine at the restaurant.
In the first chapter titled “Omakase Tasting Menu”, one can learn about what is served at the menu. Such as sole, flounder, juvenile cuttlefish (a total of 30 are featured) are provided with a photo, information about the sushi, what season they are served, the romanized name of the dish and the name in hiragana.
So, as an example. Flounder (Hirame/ひらめ) is shown that it is served from November through March and how at Edo-style sushi restaurants, sushi chefs used to maintain the tradition of beginning the meal with tuna (maguro), because tuna is considered the epitome of Edo-style sushi. But at Sukiyabashi Jiro, flounder is served first, because it was an innovative idea and other sushi restaurants started to follow.
As for the second chapter titled “How to Eat Sushi”, this is probably a very important chapter to read because Jiro does observe how people eat sushi. Actually, some other restaurants I have seen happen in other locations as well. And I have read stories of sushi chefs becoming disgruntled by how some people go to restaurants and not knowing how to eat sushi correctly.
This chapter is one that some people should want to read. From how to pick up sushi (never use your fingers from the top), how to use chopsticks for sushi (sideways not from the top) and more.
The third chapter is about “Dining at Sukiyabashi Jiro” and the importance of reservations, not to bee late and also a bit about the popular omakase tasting menu.
But the pocket book is full of information and yes, it’s small and it costs under $15 but for the information that you get, it’s one of those guides worth investing, especially if you are going to spend nearly $300 for the omakase tasting menu at Sukiyabashi Jiro, as you will be familiar with the rules and also how to eat sushi at the restaurant.
I also want to add a little about this that many people have commented on the price of the booklet, considering how small it is. For one, Sukiyabashi Jiro is not your basic sushi restaurant. You pay a premium to eat at that restaurant and you are paying a little bit for a 100-page booklet. While $9.99 may seem like a better pricepoint for some, once again, you want to eat at a fine dining, three-star Michelin restaurant, $15 for a booklet for the restaurant is not that bad. And those familiar with Japanese culture or pop culture, know that Japanese merchandise are not always inexpensive.
Overall, if you are passionate about sushi and dream about eating at sushi master chef Jiro Ono’s Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant, this book is definitely recommended reading before dining at the restaurant.
“Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations” is an insightful and enjoyable book that gives you a taste of Amano’s art through popular series such as “Final Fantasy”, “Vampire Hunter D”, “Gatchman” and more! “Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations” is recommended!
TITLE: Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations
PUBLISHER: Viz Media
PAGES: 128 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2016
Since beginning his career at age fifteen with the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko Production, Yoshitaka Amano has become one of the most acclaimed artists and illustrators at work today. Displaying a rare range, his oeuvre encompasses everything from minutely observed still-life sketches to full-color paintings on an epic scale, from children’s storybooks to dark adult fantasy, from theatrical productions to video games to sculpture to commercial design.
Yoshitaka Amano: Illustrations offers a concise survey of this remarkable artist’s career to date. It includes selected full-color pieces for series such as Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, and Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), as well as for Amano’s own creations like Hero and N.Y. Salad. Packed with sketches, commentary, and interviews, this beautiful volume opens a window into the world of Amano.
I have always been passionate about the artwork of Yoshitaka Amano. My first time seeing his artwork was from the “Final Fantasy” video games and “Vampire Hunter D” anime.
Amano began his career working on fan-favorite anime such as “Gatchaman” (G-Force) and popular graphic novels such as “The Sandman: The Dreamhunters”. But his artistic genius really beagn to flower when he turned his attention ot the medium of printmaking. Drawing from influences as diverse as Art Nouveau and Art Deco, American comics, Japanese ukiyo-e and traditional fantasy illustration, Amano’s prints capture a breathtaking world.
With quite of number of books published (some which I have reviewed on J!-ENT such as this and another), the latest Yoshitaka Amano book to be released is from Viz Media titled “Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations”.
With “Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations”, this book follows the popular works of Amano, as opposed to his book “Amano: The Complete Prints” which focuses on hundreds of prints of work that many people are not familiar with.
With “Yoshitaka Amano”, we get to see artwork from popular works featured from the “The Final Fantasy” series, “Vampire Hunter D”, conversations between Amano and another well-known artist, Aquirax Uno.
Also, the book features Amano’s sketches of women, character designs and Amano’s work on “Gatchaman” and “N.Y. Salad”, Amano’s fine art, his unpublished series “Hero”, Amano’s studio, an interview that was from “Interview” magazine issue #195, Amano’s sketches of flowers and photos showing Amano’s “How to Draw” characters, to vegetable fairies, the dragon known as Bahamut and other sketches.
While previous Yoshitaka Amano books have featured more pages and are usually a little thicker, if anything, “Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations” is a fascinating book because it features a good balance of his artwork with interviews and conversations but also showcasing images of how he creates his artwork.
For “Final Fantasy” fans, the book offers a small sample of his artwork but if you want to fully enjoy his “Final Fantasy” artwork, purchasing the three volumes of “The Sky: the Art of Final Fantasy” is the way to go. And also, the more affordable, “Dawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy”.
For “Vampire Hunter D” fans of Amano’s art, then definitely check out his book “Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D” and “Amano: The Collected Art of Vampire Hunter D”.
Wanting more of his art in general, then the book “Amano: The Complete Prints” is definitely a book I recommend.
Overall, “Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations” is an insightful and enjoyable book that gives you a taste of Amano’s art through popular series such as “Final Fantasy”, “Vampire Hunter D”, “Gatchman” and more!
“Yoshitaka Amano Illustrations” is recommended!
TITLE: Lonely Planet Ireland
PUBLISHER: Lonely Planet
PAGES: 704 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2016
- Full-colour maps and images throughout
- Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
- Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
- Essential info at your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
- Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
- Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – including
- customs, history, art, literature, music, landscapes, sports, food and drink
- Free, convenient pull-out Dublin map (included in print version), plus over 86 colour maps
- Covers Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, The Midlands, Louth, Belfast, Armagh, Derry, and more
The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Ireland , our most comprehensive guide to Ireland, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.
- Looking for just the highlights of Ireland? Check out Lonely Planet Discover Ireland guide, a photo-rich guide to the country’s most popular attractions.
- Looking for a guide focused on Dublin? Check out Lonely Planet Dublin guide for a comprehensive look at all the city has to offer.
Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
I have had the opportunity to review a good number of travel guides over the years but this is the first time I will be reviewing Lonely Planet’s Ireland travel guide. For those not familiar with Lonely Planet, for the last few years it was owned by BBC Worldwide until it was sold to NC2 Media in 2013. The Lonely Planet Ireland guide is over 700 pages of information of areas throughout Ireland including a city map of Dublin. The first 53-pages deal with planning your trip to Ireland, things you need to know, the great outdoors, eat and drink like a local, wild Atlantic way, and more. The the guide goes into traveling to Dublin, Counties Wicklow & Kildare, Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow and Kilkenny, County Cork, County Kerry, County Clare, Counties Limerick and Tipperary, County Galway, Counties Mayo & Sligo, County Donegal, The Midlands, Counties Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan, Belfast, Counties Down & Armagh, Counties Londonderry & Antrim, Countries Fermanagh & Tyrone and more. This latest guide features writings from various writers of what they love about Ireland, and I noticed that special features incorporate 3D illustrations of Trinity College, Glendalough, The Cuisine of County Cork, Wildlife in Killarney National Park, Rock of Cashel, Aran Islands scenery, Yeats Country, The Shannon-Erne Waterway, Down & Armagh Walking & Wildlife, Londonderry & Antrim: The Causeway Coast.
What I look for in a travel guide with up-to-date information, maps and as much detail for the region as possible. Some tend to skimp on smaller regions but this Lonely Planet guide really does a good job of giving coverage for locations throughout Ireland. While I do enjoy the Fodor’s travel guides for its use of color throughout, while photography of a region is nice to have, for travel guides, it all comes down to detailed information and I will can easily say that “Lonely Planet Ireland” is well-researched, informative and a travel guide worth using and help in planning and preparing for your trip to Ireland. “Lonely Planet Ireland” is recommended!
TITLE: Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper’s Guide to the Great Outdoors
PUBLISHER: Oxmoor House
PAGES: 240 Pages
RELEASE DATE: May 24, 2016
Plan your next adventure with this complete guide to exploring nature, campfire cooking, and sleeping under the stars. The experts at Sunset draw on more than a century of outdoor experience to create a guide that leaves no stone unturned. Easy to navigate and chock full of clear how-to’s, handy checklists, lush photographs, and a nifty pull-out glow-in-the-dark constellation map, Camp Sunset offers something for everyone. You’ll find essential advice on choosing the right gear, setting up camp, and dealing with local critters, alongside Sunset’s best tips for an unforgettable trip. Learn to whip up a flawless camp stove meal, mix a cocktail to match, and stargaze like a pro. Discover hands-on activities for campers of all ages, plus special features on photographing nature, foraging, and telling campfire stories. Upgrade your outdoor skills with Sunset’s proven strategies, then stash this book in your bag, and get ready to explore! Useful on the trail and inspiring in the off-season, Camp Sunset is the ultimate handbook for having more fun outdoors.
When it comes to camping, I know nothing about it. Just the basic things you pick up on television.
But as my parents are in their retirement age and my father had purchased an RV, he would like the family to join them on camping trips.
Needless to say, camping is something I’ve never been interested in but I figured, that I’ve never tried it, might as well experience it.
And fortunately, for a newbie like myself, I wanted to check out “Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper’s Guide to the Great Outdoors”.
Created by the editors of Sunset Magazine (an American lifestyle magazine that has been around since 1898), the goal was to compile years of advice into a book and keeping with the modern era and thus the book was created.
The books kicks off with choosing a campground, what type of camper are you?, the types of campgrounds out there, making reservations and building a tent. And of course, lightning, cooking in the campgrounds, meal planning, etc.
The book then goes into basic skills. From picking your camp site spot, putting a tent together, tying a knot, building a campfire, campground etiquette, avoiding problems with bugs, poisonous plants, animals and basic do’s and don’ts.
The next 73 pages are dedicated to cooking in the campground and many recipes (55 total) are provided.
The latter part of the book then features hiking, going on the trail, camping with children, wildlife safety, taking photos.
And then a chapter on fishing, tackle, canoeing and more.
And there is chapter that features having fun in the camp, games to keep children busy, telling campfire stories and then stargazing (a map of the constellation is provided).
I enjoyed this beginner’s guide to camping. The book is simple to follow, easy to read and there are many photos and full page photos included.
While those who are intermediate or advanced may find the book to be geared to newbies like myself, even as a beginner, a lot of the things I read is common sense. Especially about not feeding the wildlife. I also felt that the book utilizes so many pages just for recipes, it would have been cool to see camper experiences featured, also going into problematic things that people can learn from and not do it.
But really, this is a solid guide for beginners and as a beginner myself, I found it entertaining and it made me even more willing to experience camping than I did prior to reading the book. So, I found that to be another positive.
Overall, if you are a beginner that is contemplating camping and want something enjoyable to read and created for the beginner in mind, then “Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper’s Guide to the Great Outdoors” is for you!
TITLE: Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China
AUTHOR: Eddie Huang
PUBLISHER: Spiegel & Grau
PAGES: 240 Pages
RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2016
Double Cup Love takes readers from Williamsburg dive bars to the skies over Mongolia, from Michelin-starred restaurants in Shanghai to street-side soup peddlers in Chengdu. The book rockets off as a sharply observed, globe-trotting comic adventure that turns into an existential suspense story with high stakes. Eddie takes readers to the crossroads where he has to choose between his past and his future, between who he once was and who he might become. Double Cup Love is about how we search for love and meaning—in family and culture, in romance and marriage—but also how that search, with all its aching and overpowering complexity, can deliver us to our truest selves.
Having reviewed Eddie Huang’s coming-of-age memoir, “Fresh Off the Boat”, I felt the first book gave good insight of what made Eddie to what he is today.
Since that book, a TV series was adapted, became a big hit for the network and as for Eddie, he was quick to give his (not so positive) thoughts about it (despite the series continuing to be popular among Asian Americans and also reaching out to other cultures), the series was definitely not a true portrait of Eddie’s life.
Here we are with Eddie’s latest book “Double Cup Love” and it’s an honest portrayal of his life, his insecurities and how things are at home and his relationship with his brothers.
So for those coming into this second book without reading the first and pretty much going-based off the TV series, I advise you to read the first book because Eddie life and the TV series may have similarities (in terms of family names and the name of the restaurant) but in truth, the life of Eddie Huang and the TV series are far different from each other.
The book features an older Eddie and his brothers. Eddie Huang doesn’t hide the fact that he and his mother, unlike the loving couple in the TV show, screamed and fought each other in reality.
From the dysfunctional relationship between Eddie and his girlfriend Connie (who seems like the dream girlfriend), but Eddie makes the point, of not being raised with a family full of affection, he didn’t know love and he was determined to know what love is all about.
And the book features chapters of Eddie’s relationships, not just girlfriends but also with family.
He dedicates a chapter to his younger brother Evan and how he differed from him and Emery, who were raised as Eddie would say, their father’s “thug motivation”.
As for Emery, Eddie would talk about how he and his younger brother would get in all out fist fights.
But a strong underlying theme is about Eddy discovering love for a woman named Italian-Irish American Dina and what it took to get to that place for a solid relationship but did it last?
Reading Eddie’s “Double Cup Love – On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China”, there is a big difference from “Fresh Off the Boat”.
Whereas the first book was the memoir and living in the US and growing up, this time, it’s about relationships with family, friends and the women in his life.
There is a lot more angst this time around and in many ways, I couldn’t help but think this was a way for Eddie to let emotions come out, trying to discuss something he hasn’t really been all that good with and that is love and knowing what it’s all about and whatever love he has coming towards him or giving out.
There are different perspectives of love and you’ll read all about it in this book but it’s that quest of loving and finding that special someone and wondering if that person is meant to be and is life supposed to be that way. Is a loving relationship supposed to be that way.
While I am reviewing an advanced copy of “Double Cup Love” and not sure if there are any changes in the final version, his second book no doubt comes from the heart and wanting to show the raw emotions and the experiences he had in relationships.
The last book had a heavy emphasis on the food aspect but this time around, it’s about trying to find love and discover it and what kind of relationship does he have with this person and that person.
While “Double Cup Love” is not as great as Eddie’s first memoir, “Double Cup Love” does give us more insight of Eddie as an adult. His observations and insecurities about life and love and how it’s an ongoing process of learning.
If you enjoyed the first book especially it’s latter chapters, then you will no doubt enjoy his book. It’s raw, it’s blunt and it was interesting to see how life is for Eddie Huang and his true relationship with his parents, his brothers and other people in his life.
And showing that despite any success he may have, he’s no different from anyone else and can often have f’d up moments and that his life is not as serene as the “Fresh Off the Boat” TV series but also how he’s doing his best, no matter how difficult life can be at times.
TITLE: Dr. Joe’s Man Diet
AUTHOR: Joseph Feuerstein MD
PUBLISHER: Page Street Publishing
PAGES: 208 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
This lifestyle and eating plan is proven to help men get their cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure under control, lose weight and regain their health-all without medication and all from a leading practitioner of Integrative Medicine. Backed by scientific research, the book offers a medication-free lifestyle makeover, explains common blood tests and hormone readings, details exactly what to eat and when and provides 50 recipes to keep readers on the right path.
Having lost 60 pounds since Sept. 2015 and occasionally getting blood tests to make sure my new healthy lifestyle and what I take in is not producing any negative results, I was in a bit of a shock because while I eliminated wheat, rice, pasta and corn-based products, lowered my blood sugar, my HDL went up which is good, but unfortunately, also my LDL.
Considering I have been eating healthy, I had to step back and with my doctor try to evaluate why my levels are high and what I can do to tweak my current lifestyle and the foods and vitamins I incorporate.
One of the reasons why I wanted to read Joseph Feuerstein’s book “Dr. Joe’s Man Diet” was because of the four words I saw in the book, “Drop Bad Cholesterol 20%”.
But while reading the book, I think I go so much more out of it as it also went into insulin, BMI and also more information on testosterone therapy and also the risks associated with it.
While I read so much about poultry, fish, lean meats, eggs, etc., I’m glad that Dr. Feuerstein also went into this in detail, which will no doubt help people researching the topic.
But primarily, what won me over were the healthy recipes included.
I try to stick with a 1000-1200 calorie a day diet and eat small throughout the day, I just need more inspiration of what to eat as my meal plans are often prepared early in advance and while I try to vary with the baked fish and baked chicken or turkey, I want more variation. And so, “Dr. Joe’s Man Diet” not just functions as an informative book on eating healthy, there are awesome recipes with photos of the recipes included.
There is also more information on exercise, chemicals that raise your cholesterol and insulin levels, the importance of sleep and more.
While I really enjoyed “Dr. Joe’s Man Diet”, personally I like to avoid the word diet and call it a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been through diets and have yo-yo’d throughout all my life and so, I had to make a decision. Don’t think of it as a diet, think of it as a change of lifestyle for a healthier you and something that you want to make consistent in life.
I personally found the information and recipes in this book valuable and for its sheer content and recipes, I highly recommend “Dr. Joe’s Man Diet”.
TITLE: Fukami: Purity of Form
WRITTEN BY: Andrea Marks
PUBLISHER: Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture
PAGES: 172 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2011
Born in Kyoto in 1947, Fukami Sueharu belongs to a generation of ceramic artists in postwar Japan who devoted themselves to the creation of sculptural ceramics, free from traditional forms. He is internationally known for his polished, razor-sharp, minimalist porcelain sculptures with elegant pale bluish glaze inspired by Chinese porcelains of the 10th to 14th centuries. He can be considered the most successful living Japanese artist working in any medium.
Fukami: Purity of Form presents a comprehensive account of Fukami’s artistic career, incorporating his entire oeuvre.
I have been fortunate to have met Fukami Sueharu and one book that I treasure (and was thrilled to have him sign) was a copy of “Fukami: Purity of Form” written by Andrea Marks (and also including essays from other associates who are well-versed in the work of Fukami).
For anyone who has never seen the work of Fukami, the one thing that will amaze you is how some of his sculptures are razor thin and are absolutely beautiful.
Fukami, world renown for “his polished, razor-sharp, minimalist porcelain sculptures which are then glazed in pale bluish, is inspired by Chinese qingbai porcelains of the ten to thirteenth centuries”.
“Fukami” goes into the how Fukami became a sculptor, a conversation with Fukami and all essays are presented in English and in Japanese.
For the illustrated catalog, featuring beautiful, large photos of his sculptures. Also, it was great to see photos of Fukami working on a sculpture with captions outlining what he was doing in the appendix.
Overall, this hardcover book is an absolute treasure and if you love Fukami Sueharu’s work, “Fukami: Purity of Form” is worth owning.
BOOK: I Love That Minifigure
AUTHORS: Jonathan Green
Company: DK Children
Availability: Available Now | 5-9
Hardcover: 208 Pages
Release Date: October 6, 2015
For children or the young at heart (AFOL’s like myself), DK has released wonderful books on the history of LEGO minifigures.
Two that I recommend are the “LEGO MINIFIGURE YEAR BY YEAR: A VISUAL HISTORY” and for those who love those hard to find, mystery bags, there is the “LEGO minifigures: Character Encyclopedia” (note: the type distinction between MINIFIGURE and the mystery bagged versions as minifigures). And of course, there are books that are tied to specific LEGO series such as LEGO STAR WARS, LEGO NINJAGO, LEGO HARRY POTTER, LEGO CHIMA to name a few.
But here we are with “LEGO: I LOVE THAT MINIFIGURE”, some may see it as a sequel or companion to “LEGO MINIFIGURE YEAR BY YEAR: A VISUAL HISTORY” as it features LEGO MINIFIGURES from 1978 to 2015.
But also, what gets LEGO collectors even more excited with DK LEGO book releases are the fact they now come with MINIFIGURES (only available with the book purchase, so you can’t buy them separately in retail). For “LEGO: I LOVE THAT MINIFIGURE”, it comes with the Zombie skateboarder.
With the latest book, the book is broken down in the following segments:
– EVERYDAY HEROES
– YOU’RE HISTORY!
– OUT OF THIS WORLD
– YOU’RE MY HERO!
– SPOOKY AND SCARY
– THE WORLD’S A STAGE
– ONE OF A KIND
– WILD AT HEART
– ROTTEN ROGUES
– WE HAVE POWER!
– ALL-TIME ICONS
So, the LEGO MINIFIGURES featured are not by year, but by the categories listed above. Factoids are given on various LEGO MINIFIGURES, their role and also rarity.
For example, EVERYDAY HEROES features the first true MINIFIGURE, the Policeman for LEGOLAND TOWN and how the original was too big to fit in his police car and his rarity is a 3 out of 5.
For ADIDAS SUPER GOALIE, the factoid features how the goal keeper was given out with pairs of Adidas sneakers in 2007 and how it’s a very rare figure (4 out of 5). Factoids on the actual MINIFIGURE and how Stripes’ gloves have a real LEGO rarity, fingers and thumbs.
And of course, one of the rarest LEGO MINIFIGURES to be made, a 2007 LEGO STAR WARS gold chrome C-3P0 that were randomly inserted into LEGO Star Wars Sets around the world (only 10,000 were made to mark the 30 years of “STAR WARS”).
For the most part, there are really good selections of LEGO MINIFIGURES from past and present. There is a good selection of various types of LEGO MINIFIGURES from normal to wild and crazy.
But “LEGO: I LOVE THAT MINIFIGURE” is a wonderful book that children and the young at heart will no doubt love, and if you have the chance, I also recommend picking up “LEGO MINIFIGURE YEAR BY YEAR: A VISUAL HISTORY” and “LEGO minifigures: Character Encyclopedia” for your LEGO book collection as well.
BOOK: Medieval LEGO
AUTHORS: Greyson Beights
Company: No Starch Press
Availability: Available Now |3-7
Hardcover: 132 Pages
Release Date: September 24, 2015
Education through LEGO. That is how much I enjoyed Greyson Beights (an award-winning LEGO builder and helps organize the LEGO convention, BrickUniverse) book “Medieval Lego” and teaching children (including myself) about English history.
There are many short three page stories + an accompany LEGO diorama of history from 1028-1214, 1215-1345, 1346-1485 and contributions for each of the historic battles are from more than a dozen scholars and photos from over a dozen LEGO builders.
The writing is easy for older children to follow and it’s quite intriguing and enjoyable to read, myself and my son have read this book and we hope that Greyson continues a series of these educational LEGO-related books.
“This is a fun and origami challenging book. I would recommend this book for fairly experienced folders looking for a new challenge!”
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 – 5
- Series: DC Super Heroes
- Paperback: 448 pages
Ever since I was a kid I have always been fascinated by origami. My first exposure came from weekly culture lessons at school on a Navy base in Atsugi, Japan.
Growing up, I continued my interest in origami, sometimes teaching simple models as a substitute teacher. So, I was very interested about John Montroll’s “DC SUPER HEROES ORIGAMI”. Montroll is a master origami artist, whose first origami book, Origami for the Enthusiast; Dover Publications, 1979, introduced the origami technique “double rabbit ear fold”. (1)
It’s important to note that I am reviewing an advanced copy of John Montroll’s “DC SUPER HEROES ORIGAMI” and there may be content changes in the final version.
Montroll begins the book by diagramming and explaining eleven basic folds. The origami models in the book are then divided into four sections: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League.
There are 11 models in the first three sections, and 13 models in the Justice League section.
Each model represents a variety of props, locations, vehicles and characters from the DC Universe, including a couple of villains.
Although as a huge “Batman” fan, I was a little disappointed in the omission of a model representing the Joker. Several other Bat-villains are represented including the Riddler, the Penguin and Clayface. The models are listed by complexity using a star system: 1 star for easy, 2 stars for intermediate, and 3 stars for complex.
At the end of the book are 96 sheets of illustrated origami paper designed by DC Comics artist Min Sung Ku.
The book is very detailed. There are clear explanations for each basic fold, and written descriptions for each folding step for the origami models.
There are many colorful illustrations showing the final model using the illustrated origami paper and the art is from the Batman the Animated Series from 1992-1995 (2) and Justice League Unlimited cartoon series from 2001-2006 (3).
In the Illustrated Folding Paper User Guide at the end of the book, it is suggested that readers practice new models with traditional origami paper first, and then when they are comfortable, fold the model using the illustrated folding papers.
This suggestion should be followed, as most of the models are not easy.
Over half of the models fall into the complex category, about a quarter of the models is in the intermediate category, and just over a handful of models (only 6) are ranked as easy.
The models are listed in each section starting with the easy models, then intermediate, and finally the complex models.
However, there are no easy models in the Batman section, only intermediate and complex models. The rest of the book has about two easy models per section.
The illustrated paper is about 8 inches or 20 centimeters square. Normal origami paper is about 6 inches square or 15 centimeters square.
I tried using scrapbook papers, not cardstock, that was 12 inches square, or about 30 and half centimeters square.
However, that paper is still slightly thicker than typical origami paper, and proved difficult to work with on some models such as that Green Lantern Symbol that required folding several layers.
Most of the models have small details that would not be easy to fold on any paper smaller than 15 centimeters square. It would be best to find origami paper at this standard size or bigger to practice with or make models.
One complaint I often see with origami books like this with illustrated origami paper is the books typically only have two or three sheets or pre-printed paper for each model.
But to that I say; that’s where the fun can come in!
Get out the pens, markers, color pencils, and stickers and decorate the models yourselves.
Also, if you get two-toned origami paper, with one color on one side and a different color on the other side, then you can create your own unique pieces. You can make the Bat Symbol in a variety of color combinations instead of just yellow and black.
The same can be done with the Superman Symbol or other heroes’ symbols, or even different color Batarangs or Kryptonite.
Overall, this is a fun and origami challenging book. I would recommend this book for fairly experienced folders looking for a new challenge. Even the easy models have 15-18 steps.
So, I would not recommend this book for any folders with no experience or anyone younger than 10 years old. You can create many awesome origami models, but as stated in the foreword, with patience and practice. This book can provide hours of folding fun.
1. Origami for the Enthusiast; Dover Publications, 1979 ISBN 0486237990
2. Batman the Animated Series; http://www.ign.com/top/animated-tv-series/2.html
3. Justice League Unlimited; http://www.ign.com/top/animated-tv-series/20.html