Books by Yvonne Buchanan

FLY, BESSIE, FLY by Lynn Joseph
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

Joseph (Jump Up Time, p. 1119, etc.) uses a strong, steady present-tense narration to tell the story of Bessie Coleman, African-American, Texan, and world's first black woman aviator. What makes this treatment appealing is that Coleman's life lends itself to hyperbole, but Joseph reigns it in, imbuing the story with power and dignity. It will make readers angry at the injustices of the era: Jim Crow laws, whites-only ticket lines, Coleman's trip to France to get her pilot's license because her aspirations were considered absurd in the US. Joseph allows inspiration to form from a quiet presentation of facts; adding to the aura of possibility and grace under fire are Buchanan's sure, atmospheric ink-and-watercolor illustrations. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-8) Read full book review >
AMERICA by W. Nikola-Lisa
Released: May 1, 1997

Seriously flawed as a concept book, this picture book offers rewards for readers interested in its specific merits. Nikola- Lisa (Tangletalk, p. 646, etc.) presents a pair of phrases for illustration in double-page spreads: ``Wood Land/Farm Land/Wet Land/Dry Land/Rough Land/Smooth Land.'' Each of the 14 spreads is illustrated by a different artist. Therefore, there is not only a different style and medium for each, but a different way of looking at the definition of land: ``Wet Land,'' for example, shows a family in a rowboat amid a few marsh grasses. The grasses and a nearby flamingo convey some sense of a wetland, but then why is the phrase rigidly two words? ``Low Land/High Land'' has in its background the suggestion of tiered hills, but there is a giant fish in the foreground of ``High Land.'' Ice appears as ``Smooth Land.'' This isn't a book for children as much as a showcase for several talented artists, among them Gregory Christie, Hector Viveros Lee, Erwin Printup, Jr., Enrique O. Sanchez, Yoriko It, and Huy Lee. To that end, an ``About the Art'' page includes photos of and quotations by the artists and information on their techniques and published works. (Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >