Drummond rolls along with another successful story of environmental change.

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PEDAL POWER

HOW ONE COMMUNITY BECAME THE BICYCLE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Pedal-power protests in the 1970s turned Amsterdam into “the capital city of cycling.”

Spurred on by activist mom Maartje Rutten and friends, a campaign to take back Amsterdam’s streets that began with festive, peaceful protests turned more serious when a bike-riding child was killed. With auto traffic banned on Sundays because of a fuel shortage, a dramatic mass ride through a cars-only tunnel seemed to turn the tide. New regulations including special bike lanes, traffic-calming constructions, and new right-of-way laws changed things in Amsterdam and all over the world. The author surrounds this simply told story with endpapers showing bicycle efficiency, bicycle contributions to social progress, great cyclists, and great bikes of the world. He includes statistics about bike-share programs and reasons for using bicycles to get around. As he did in other tales of community transformation, he decorates his text with cheerful pen-and-ink sketches with watercolor wash. Appropriately for the Netherlands, most of the people shown are white; Drummond correctly includes racially diverse cyclists and also provides a 1970s photograph in the author’s note showing a smiling rider of African descent. The note recalls his original goal: showing “how wonderful it feels to ride a bike, particularly in a city.” That joy is evident throughout; it might even convince some readers to give it a try.

Drummond rolls along with another successful story of environmental change. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30527-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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