Rosenstock and Roy’s collaboration celebrates scientific teamwork and an exciting first in deep-sea exploration.

READ REVIEW

OTIS AND WILL DISCOVER THE DEEP

THE RECORD-SETTING DIVE OF THE BATHYSPHERE

Otis Barton and Will Beebe, unified in their scientific curiosity about the deep sea, team up to innovate the 5,000-pound bathysphere, making history in 1930 with their initial 800-foot dive.

The younger of the two, Barton sought out the famous explorer Beebe, correcting his prototypical calculations and sharing his own design. Rosenstock provides physical and logistical details, including how the two tall men fit themselves into a bolted-shut globe “the size of a tiny closet.” The narrative focuses on the drama, delivering bursts of information throughout the descent, as the crew above periodically halts progress to check the bathysphere’s cables. “300 feet. Stop. / ‘We’re leaking!’ Otis cried. A trickle seeped through the hatch door….Would a tiny leak stop?” At 800 feet, a double gatefold opens to the bathysphere, dwarfed by the expanse of ink-blue sea, its searchlight illuminating thick schools of fish, squid, and jellies. (The choice of a horizontal instead of vertical gatefold composition sidesteps an opportunity to visually dramatize the dangerous descent.) Roy’s multimedia paintings deliver plenty of contrasts, from boyhood scenes to events aboard the ship and undersea; endpapers depict creatures that dwell at several different ocean depths. Barton and Beebe are white; Roy depicts several male brown-skinned crew members and one white female research assistant.

Rosenstock and Roy’s collaboration celebrates scientific teamwork and an exciting first in deep-sea exploration. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, historical note, sources) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-39382-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

ROSA PARKS

From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more