I’ve already mentioned the coverage in Kirkus — this review, and this interview — of Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion, written by me, illustrated by Victo Ngai, published by Millbrook Press, and available on September 1.
Now I’m happy as can be to point you toward what some of the other major review publications have had to say about the book.
Ngai’s swirling, art nouveauâ€“style illustrations replicate some of the bold shapes and designs on the so-called “dazzle ships,” and the soft colors and stylized figures nicely soften the wartime theme and focus attention to the ships. Barton adds plenty of historical context, illuminating other naval defense schemes of the period, as well as the role of women in creating dazzle patterns.
Dazzle Ships received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which said in part:
“Sometimes desperate times call for dazzling measures,” writes Barton in conclusion, underscoring the importance of creative problem solving. Reflective author and artist notes, a timeline with b&w photographs, and a reading list wrap up a conversational, compelling, and visually arresting story that coincides with the 100th anniversary of its subject.
And our book earned a second starred review, from School Library Journal:
The well-written, intriguing text is complemented by Ngai’s vibrant and surreal illustrations that skillfully recreate the glittering water and the striking camouflaged vessels. … With the commemoration of the centenary of World War I, this book is a fascinating selection that will captivate readers, especially war story enthusiasts.
I hope you’re intrigued enough to get the word out — and show up in person, if you can — for my September 7 reading, discussion, and signing of Dazzle Ships at Austin’s BookPeople.