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An important look at Juneteenth history, made accessible for young readers.

The story of how Juneteenth came to be.

Agostini narrates the history of the holiday that marks the date when enslaved people in Texas finally learned they were free: June 19, 1865, 900 days after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and 339 years after slavery began. Juneteenth has been celebrated in some cities and regions since 1866 (then called Jubilee Day or Emancipation Day), but in 2021, President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Throughout this straightforward account, a contemporary Black mother, father, and young daughter observe images of these historical events unfolding: Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, the jubilation of enslaved people receiving news of their freedom, and the disappointment of a Black family, subject to Jim Crow laws, who cannot visit a park where a White family is picnicking. This split visual narrative likely represents the parents teaching their daughter this history, but readers might find it confusing when the family eats in a park alongside families wearing historical clothing. Agostini brings readers up to the summer of 2020, connecting Juneteenth with the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter movement. Cloud uses an array of skin tones to portray the diversity among African Americans, but sometimes the cartoonish style conflicts with the seriousness of the book’s content. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An important look at Juneteenth history, made accessible for young readers. (timeline, author's note) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7603-7514-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: becker&mayer! kids

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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From the All About America series

Shot through with vague generalities and paired to a mix of equally generic period images and static new art, this overview remorselessly sucks all the juice from its topic.

This survey of the growth of industries in this country from the Colonial period to the post–World War II era is written in the driest of textbook-ese: “Factories needed good transportation so that materials could reach them and so that materials could reach buyers”; “The metal iron is obtained by heating iron ore”; “In 1860, the North said that free men, not slaves, should do the work.” This text is supplemented by a jumble of narrative-overview blocks, boxed side observations and terse captions on each thematic spread. The design is packed with overlapping, misleadingly seamless and rarely differentiated mixes of small, heavily trimmed contemporary prints or (later) photos and drab reconstructions of workshop or factory scenes, along with pictures of significant inventions and technological innovations (which are, in several cases, reduced to background design elements). The single, tiny map has no identifying labels. Other new entries in the All About America series deal similarly with Explorers, Trappers, and Pioneers, A Nation of Immigrants and Stagecoaches and Railroads. Utilitarian, at best—but more likely to dim reader interest than kindle it. (index, timeline, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 8-10)


Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6670-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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From the Unlikely Friendships for Kids series

The sense of wonder that infuses each simply worded chapter is contagious, and some of the photos are soooo cuuuuute.

The author of an adult book about uncommon animal attachments invites emergent readers to share the warm (Unlikely Friendships, 2011).

This is the first of four spinoffs, all rewritten and enhanced with fetching color photographs of the subject. It pairs a very young rhesus monkey with a dove, one cat with a zoo bear and another that became a “seeing-eye cat” for a blind dog (!), an old performing elephant with a stray dog and a lion in the Kenyan wild with a baby oryx. Refreshingly, the author, a science writer, refrains from offering facile analyses of the relationships’ causes or homiletic commentary. Instead, she explains how each companionship began, what is surprising about it and also how some ended, from natural causes or otherwise. There is a regrettable number of exclamation points, but they are in keeping with the overall enthusiastic tone.

The sense of wonder that infuses each simply worded chapter is contagious, and some of the photos are soooo cuuuuute. (animal and word lists) (Nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7611-7011-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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