THE VOICE OF LIBERTY

A fine tribute as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

When unveiled in New York Harbor in 1886, the statue of a woman became the symbol of American liberty. At the time, real women had few freedoms.

Here’s the little-known fictionalized saga of three New York suffragists, fiercely determined to give Lady Liberty a “voice”—by fighting for women’s voting rights. First, they decide to attend the statue’s welcoming ceremony. No matter that women are forbidden to make speeches on the day or appear on the island where the statue stands. The suffragists—Lillie Devereux Blake; her daughter, Katherine “Katie” Devereux Blake; and Matilda Joslyn Gage—manage to commandeer a smelly cattle barge and join the naval flotilla on the Hudson River. The women chant slogans, some observers hurl insults, and the barge sails right up to the statue. The women’s efforts result in news stories and donations that fund additional suffrage campaigns. This lively account of the events should appeal to readers interested in the Statue of Liberty or women’s history. The clipped prose and vigorous efforts of the stalwart women promote fast-paced reading and dramatize some particulars of the momentous celebration. Bold, colorful, energetic illustrations capture time and place well. The suffragists are depicted as white; some characters are racially diverse. Extras include facts about these suffragists and Lady Liberty, a timeline, bibliography, author’s note, and dialogue sources.

A fine tribute as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-941813-24-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society Press

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

BUTT OR FACE?

A gleeful game for budding naturalists.

Artfully cropped animal portraits challenge viewers to guess which end they’re seeing.

In what will be a crowd-pleasing and inevitably raucous guessing game, a series of close-up stock photos invite children to call out one of the titular alternatives. A page turn reveals answers and basic facts about each creature backed up by more of the latter in a closing map and table. Some of the posers, like the tail of an okapi or the nose on a proboscis monkey, are easy enough to guess—but the moist nose on a star-nosed mole really does look like an anus, and the false “eyes” on the hind ends of a Cuyaba dwarf frog and a Promethea moth caterpillar will fool many. Better yet, Lavelle saves a kicker for the finale with a glimpse of a small parasitical pearlfish peeking out of a sea cucumber’s rear so that the answer is actually face and butt. “Animal identification can be tricky!” she concludes, noting that many of the features here function as defenses against attack: “In the animal world, sometimes your butt will save your face and your face just might save your butt!” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gleeful game for budding naturalists. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781728271170

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

THE LITTLE BOOK OF JOY

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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