Drummond rolls along with another successful story of environmental change.

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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Though told by two outsiders to the culture, this timely and well-crafted story will educate readers on the preciousness of...

THE WATER PRINCESS

An international story tackles a serious global issue with Reynolds’ characteristic visual whimsy.

Gie Gie—aka Princess Gie Gie—lives with her parents in Burkina Faso. In her kingdom under “the African sky, so wild and so close,” she can tame wild dogs with her song and make grass sway, but despite grand attempts, she can neither bring the water closer to home nor make it clean. French words such as “maintenant!” (now!) and “maman” (mother) and local color like the karite tree and shea nuts place the story in a French-speaking African country. Every morning, Gie Gie and her mother perch rings of cloth and large clay pots on their heads and walk miles to the nearest well to fetch murky, brown water. The story is inspired by model Georgie Badiel, who founded the Georgie Badiel Foundation to make clean water accessible to West Africans. The details in Reynolds’ expressive illustrations highlight the beauty of the West African landscape and of Princess Gie Gie, with her cornrowed and beaded hair, but will also help readers understand that everyone needs clean water—from the children of Burkina Faso to the children of Flint, Michigan.

Though told by two outsiders to the culture, this timely and well-crafted story will educate readers on the preciousness of potable water. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17258-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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