“When the Moon Comes”

Title: WHEN THE MOON COMES

Author: Paul Harbridge

Illustrator: Matt James

Publisher: tundra – Random House Canada

Review by Bob Lane, Siena Brandstaetter, and Holt Brandstaetter

Confession: I am no expert on children’s literature. As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather I have always bowed to the “expertise” of the audience. If the child is saying “read it again” you have a good indication that the book is a winner. Often books that I have chosen, thinking they would be great hits with the kids turned out to be boring, receiving no “read it again” requests.

This book is a “read it again” book based on some empirical research! Two greats thought it worthy of a “read it again” stamp of approval.

First, it tells a compelling story. A story set in Canada about snowy landscapes, frozen ponds, and kids playing hockey. Cover blurb: “The beaver flood has finally frozen – perfect ice, without a bump or a ripple. The kids in town wait impatiently for the right moment. Finally, it arrives: the full moon. They huff and puff through logging trails, farms, back roads and tamarack swamps, the powdery snow soaking pant legs and boots, till they see it – the perfect ice, waiting. And the game is on.”

Paul Harbridge is an award winning short story writer (he works as a speech-language pathologist for adults with developmental disabilities) and he knows how to tell a story. Matt James is a painter, illustrator and musician. His illustrations are, in a word, beautiful. They are perfect at complementing the words of the story and drawing the audience into that wonderful world of make-believe that children of all ages enjoy.

Together words and pictures tell the story of some small-town Canadian kids who have been waiting for the perfect time to hike out to the beaver flood, clear the snow, and start the game. The time has come! The full moon lights the night and off they go.

Simple, engaging, and worthy of the “read it again” stamp of approval.

N-universe illustration

N-universe illustration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J. T. Ismael

How Physics Makes Us Free

J. T. Ismael, How Physics Makes Us Free, Oxford University Press, 2016, 273pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190269449.

Reviewed by Carl Hoefer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Jenann Ismael’s book is a strikingly original monograph that somehow manages to be perfectly relevant and highly engaging to both the intelligent lay reader and the professional philosopher. It shows how well done philosophy of science can be relevant for the public at large, even when treating questions that have, of late, suffered from the ravages of analytic metaphysics. The book may be more widely read inside the academy than outside, but those on the outside who read it in full will surely come away with a better opinion of philosophy than they had at the start. Ismael’s prose is beautiful, evocative, and full of helpful metaphors and analogies; what is lacking (mostly) are dry pre-packaged philosophical terms, convoluted arguments and hackneyed examples. (For example, though free will is the main topic, Dr. Black, the evil neurosurgeon, is delightfully absent.)

Read the review.

English: Science icon from Nuvola icon theme f...

English: Science icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)