Mara Rockliff, Iacopo Bruno – Mesmerized
- Art Director: Maryellen Hanley
- Author: Mara Rockliff, Iacopo Bruno
- Title: Mesmerized
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publishing Date: February 2015
Text copyright © 2015 by Mara Rockliff. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Iacopo Bruno.
Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
More info about the book here
Bruno’s illustrations humorously capture the period detail, with Dr. Mesmer’s hair looking like a fussy stack of cannolis — what’s more American than to laugh at the excesses of French nobility? The endpapers feature a cool optical illusion that will convince readers that our minds can, indeed, play crazy tricks on us.
—The New York Times
A stylish and humorous exploration of the scientific method and the mysteries of the human mind.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
On brilliantly illustrated pages full of rococo details and beautifully calligraphed text, Rockliff tells the story of how Benjamin Franklin debunked Dr. Mesmer’s magical cure-all…. [Rockliff’s] dramatic text is perfectly complemented by Bruno’s lush, full-color illustrations, stuffed with period detail and sweeping ribbons and curlicues. Each page is teeming with personality…Together, Rockliff and Bruno make the scientific method seem exciting, and kids interested in science and history will likely be, well, mesmerized.
—Booklist (starred review)
Rockliff’s lighthearted tone and lively writing style are enhanced by the use of different typefaces and print sizes, as well as a layout that will keep readers engaged throughout. Rockliff plays with words and rhythm, making this book an excellent choice for reading aloud. The artwork is infused with humor, and the individual’s expressions throughout are a delight, from the look on the face of a swooning patient to Mesmer’s own intense glare. There is much here to draw the eye and prod discussion…. Overall, a wonderful and fun-filled title that introduces yet another facet of a fascinating man.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Rockliff’s text is engaging and lively and pairs beautifully with Bruno’s dramatic and bold illustrations, which fully conduct the audience’s attention. There is no way a reader will escape the truly mesmerizing and energetic design.
—The Horn Book
Bruno’s digitally colored pencil art lightly evokes period caricature and gently pokes fun at the ornate clothing and hair of French nobility. The tale is nicely pitched to emphasize the importance of a hypothesis, testing and verification, and several inset text boxes are used to explain these scientific tools. Rockliff points out that Franklin’s blind-test technique is in use today for medical treatments, and both the placebo effect and hypnosis are studied today. Rockliff and Bruno’s playful approach buoys solid science and history.