A remarkably uninformative informational book.

READ REVIEW

A SUPER STICKY MISTAKE

THE STORY OF HOW HARRY COOVER ACCIDENTALLY DISCOVERED SUPER GLUE!

Like many inventions, it seems, super glue came about by accident.

Unfortunately, readers are likely to be left with more questions than answers after reading this disappointing biography of the miracle goo’s inventor. Harry Coover invented the stuff, but his surname is inexplicably withheld until the end of the narrative. One irrelevant fact revealed from the beginning was his penchant for saying “yaba daba,” which is irritatingly repeated throughout the text. His favorite subject was chemistry, but readers don’t learn what drew him to it. During World War II, Coover “was asked to develop a plastic [that] needed to be strong, solid and transparent.” Why he was asked to do this, for what purpose, and by whom is not revealed. Coover and his team accidentally created a mixture called cyanoacrylate, which is now popularly known as super glue. After years in development, it was officially put on the market, and his adhesive found many uses. Veterinarians used it to mend bones; battlefield medics used it to stop blood loss; and detectives used it to collect fingerprints—though how is not explained. Engineers supposedly used it to fix a space shuttle, but how and which one are not revealed. Complementing the scant information are equally unenlightening cartoon illustrations depicting the White scientist in action with colleagues, some of whom are people of color. There are no source notes or bibliography.

A remarkably uninformative informational book. (timeline) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84886-647-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Maverick Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter

MALALA'S MAGIC PENCIL

The latest of many picture books about the young heroine from Pakistan, this one is narrated by Malala herself, with a frame that is accessible to young readers.

Malala introduces her story using a television show she used to watch about a boy with a magic pencil that he used to get himself and his friends out of trouble. Readers can easily follow Malala through her own discovery of troubles in her beloved home village, such as other children not attending school and soldiers taking over the village. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations give a strong sense of setting, while gold ink designs overlay Malala’s hopes onto her often dreary reality. The story makes clear Malala’s motivations for taking up the pen to tell the world about the hardships in her village and only alludes to the attempt on her life, with a black page (“the dangerous men tried to silence me. / But they failed”) and a hospital bracelet on her wrist the only hints of the harm that came to her. Crowds with signs join her call before she is shown giving her famous speech before the United Nations. Toward the end of the book, adult readers may need to help children understand Malala’s “work,” but the message of holding fast to courage and working together is powerful and clear.

An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter . (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31957-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more