Saturday, December 01, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Many parents of kids with active brains are familiar with Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s work. Kyi’s writing is sharp and her topics are targeted, and betray both the author’s own natural curiosity as well as a way of writing for children that manages to be calm, informative and interesting all at once.

Her most recent book, Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood (Annick Press), is a perfect example.
Blood pacts and sacrifices. Blood brothers and blue bloods. Bloodletting and spatter patterns. The idea of blood flows through human culture the same way the real stuff flows through our veins. 
And so we encounter vampires and gladiators, learn about hemophilia and about blood in language as well as fact (blood runs deep, he’s hot-blooded and so on).

Clearly a book about blood aimed at kids 10 and up needs to be fun and not everyone could pull that off, but Kyi does it handily. She’s helped here by illustrations from Steve Rolston that range from whimsical to graphic novel-style panels. The resulting book is both compelling and instructive and I’m guessing that kids will be enthralled. ◊

Sienna Powers is a transplanted Calgarian who lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. She is a writer and conceptual artist.

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