Next book



An important story that we still have a lot to learn from, but this telling of it at times feels emotionally disconnected.

Larry Doby was an athletic phenom.

Often overshadowed by Jackie Robinson, the first Black player in the National League, Doby deserves his due as the first Black person to play in the American League. As a boy growing up in the 1920s, young Larry dreamed of playing professional baseball long before such opportunities were open to Black people. In his unsegregated South Carolina neighborhood, sports played an important role, bringing families and people of different races together. In high school, Doby flourished athletically and was afforded a spot in the Negro Leagues; nevertheless, he did not see a long-term career in professional baseball as a possibility. After graduating, while serving in the Navy in 1947, Doby changed his mind after learning of the historic signing of Jackie Robinson to the major leagues. The story goes on to describe Doby’s pioneering accomplishments as a sportsman as well as the racial discrimination he endured. Chapman’s textured digital art effectively makes use of interesting perspectives to create striking visuals, but the text fails at capturing the extent of the racial prejudice Doby had to overcome both on and off the field. The idea that “Change never stops” is a repeated motif, yet the references to social change feel a bit superficial since the book neglects to mention the decadelong campaign Black and White journalists and activists waged to desegregate baseball.

An important story that we still have a lot to learn from, but this telling of it at times feels emotionally disconnected. (author’s note, selected bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-328-48297-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

Next book


From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

Next book


A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Close Quickview