From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World

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9781596435421: From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World
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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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About 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.

From 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, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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