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This eloquent tribute is a must-read.

A picture-book biography in verse highlighting the friendship between John Lewis and the young African American boy whom he inspired.

In her signature expressive and soulful style, Pinkney introduces readers to young Tybre Faw, a boy from Tennessee who learns about Sen. Lewis from reading books. Inspired by Lewis' lifelong fight for justice and equal rights, Tybre convinces his grandparents to make a 4-hour drive from their home in Tennessee to Selma, Alabama, where every year Lewis conducts an annual pilgrimage across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in honor of his historic showdown, which helped usher in the Voting Rights Act. There, the two meet and a friendship is sparked. Woven into the narrative is the story of how Lewis, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., went on to become a civil rights hero. With deep emotion, Pinkney captures the generational struggle for freedom and takes readers from Dr. King’s radio speeches during the Jim Crow era to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Brown's watercolor-and–quill pen illustrations are striking and larger than life, adding great depth and meaning to the verse. Backmatter includes a statement further describing the relationship between Lewis and Tybre, a timeline of Lewis' life, captioned photographs, and the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which Tybre delivered at Lewis’ funeral service. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This eloquent tribute is a must-read. (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75908-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40.

From two Nobel Peace Prize winners, an invitation to look past sadness and loneliness to the joy that surrounds us.

Bobbing in the wake of 2016’s heavyweight Book of Joy (2016), this brief but buoyant address to young readers offers an earnest insight: “If you just focus on the thing that is making / you sad, then the sadness is all you see. / But if you look around, you will / see that joy is everywhere.” López expands the simply delivered proposal in fresh and lyrical ways—beginning with paired scenes of the authors as solitary children growing up in very different circumstances on (as they put it) “opposite sides of the world,” then meeting as young friends bonded by streams of rainbow bunting and going on to share their exuberantly hued joy with a group of dancers diverse in terms of age, race, culture, and locale while urging readers to do the same. Though on the whole this comes off as a bit bland (the banter and hilarity that characterized the authors’ recorded interchanges are absent here) and their advice just to look away from the sad things may seem facile in view of what too many children are inescapably faced with, still, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world more qualified to deliver such a message than these two. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-48423-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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