A lively glimpse into the Lincoln home.

TAD LINCOLN'S RESTLESS WRIGGLE

PANDEMONIUM AND PATIENCE IN THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE

Learn about the Lincoln family through the life of their youngest child.

Thomas “Tad” Lincoln was by all accounts rambunctious. The nickname came with his birth, when his wiggling body reminded his father of a tadpole, and his high energy continued throughout his childhood. This energy, paired with a partial cleft palate that left a hole in the roof of his mouth, made Tad a high-maintenance child who was hard to understand but also one who delighted the president and brought levity to a troubled White House. Readers will learn about a few of these adventures, including Tad’s moneymaking schemes to support the war effort, his romps through the White House, and his role in the pardoning of the first turkey, Jack, which became one of his menagerie of pets. The story’s strength lies in its quiet depictions of Abraham Lincoln and his wry humor that many children’s history books ignore. The fine-lined and delicately colored illustrations capture the energy of the day and don’t sugarcoat the Whiteness of Lincoln’s world; most of the Black characters depicted are servants. Readers fascinated by this glimpse into Tad’s story will want to know more, and caregivers and educators will delight in the extensive bibliography and source notes that will aid that exploration. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lively glimpse into the Lincoln home. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 5-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63592-315-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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