Baffling Bathing Customs

9781538226919. Croy, Anita. Terrible and Toxic Makeup. ISBN 9781538226766.ea vol: 48p. (The Bizarre History of Beauty). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Gareth Stevens. Aug. 2018. lib. ed. $31.95.
Gr 4–6—Examining history through shifting trends in beauty and style, this series retains a focus on sequences of surprising or lurid facts. George V was the first English monarch with a tattoo; French empress Josephine spent hours applying makeup in order to look more "natural." The tone of the narrative is mostly informal, and the design vivid and amply illustrated, inviting readers who may not usually gravitate toward history books. Recurring brief features highlight key names and trends. For example, a (peculiarly named) "Hello Beautiful" section calls attention to Florence Nightingale's influence on medical hygiene in the bathing volume, and one tagged "To Die For" explains the crinoline framework underlying Victorian women's skirts in the book about body modifications. Each narrative progresses chronologically, although the subject can jump erratically around the globe within time periods. Back matter includes a time line and some references, but is generally thin.
VERDICT Recommended for independent reading, though less solid for research.

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