TAD LINCOLN'S RESTLESS WRIGGLE

PANDEMONIUM AND PATIENCE IN THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE

A lively glimpse into the Lincoln home.

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

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. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

MORE THAN PEACH

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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