A lyrical look at challenges faced by immigrants of color and how they’ve flourished.

These poems celebrating immigrants of color are “created, written and illustrated by first- and second-generation immigrants of color.”

The biographies are of people from different parts of the world who have come to the United States and made significant contributions in their various fields, raising awareness of their many challenges and the wide range of immigration stories. They include the well known, like Somali American Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who’s Chinese American, as well as ones whose achievements are far less recognized, like Paralympic medalist Alejandro Albor, a Mexican American; Korean American comics artist Jim Lee; and the Latinx poet/activist group, the Undocupoets. The inspirational, free-verse poems, all penned by Salazar, briefly share each immigrant’s journey to the United States and beyond. One double-page spread is allotted to each, each illustrated by a different artist; the art is diverse in style, uniformly well crafted, and appropriately kid focused for each subject. Tracy Guiteau’s portrait of a young Edwidge Danticat, for instance, places her with a giant pencil and a blank book against the bright buildings of Port-au-Prince. Backmatter includes brief extended bios of all the people featured along with contributor bios and notes from Chau, who conceived the book, and Salazar. Though a natural choice during immigration and poetry units, it’s more an inspiration and introduction than a research tool in itself.

A lyrical look at challenges faced by immigrants of color and how they’ve flourished. (Picture book/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-55287-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021


The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952


Certain to steal hearts.

In this follow-up to 2020’s The One and Only Bob, Ruby the elephant is still living at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary.

She’s apprehensive about her Tuskday, a rite of passage for young elephants when she’ll give a speech in front of the rest of the herd. Luckily, she can confide in her Uncle Ivan, who is next door in Gorilla World, and Uncle Bob, the dog who lives nearby with human friend Julia. Ruby was born in an unspecified part of Africa, later ending up on display in the mall, where she met Ivan, Bob, and Julia. The unexpected arrival of someone from Ruby’s past life on the savanna revives memories both warmly nostalgic and deeply traumatic. An elephant glossary and Castelao’s charming, illustrated guide to elephant body language help immerse readers in Ruby’s world. Goofy, playful, and mischievous Ruby is fully dimensional, as she has shown her bravery during the many hardships of her young life. Applegate deftly tempers themes of grief and loss with compassion and humor as Ruby finds her place in the herd. The author’s note touches on climate change, the illegal ivory trade, and conservation efforts, but the highly emotive framing of the story through the memories of a bewildered baby elephant emphasizes the impact of lines such as “ ‘in Africa,’ I say softly, ‘there were bad people,’ ” without offering readers a nuanced understanding of the broader context that drives poaching.

Certain to steal hearts. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780063080089

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

Close Quickview