Evocative description intertwines with joyful illustration in an imagined day in the life of a young artist.

AND I PAINT IT

HENRIETTE WYETH’S WORLD

An artist awakens into her dreams.

The oldest girl in the Wyeth family, Henriette, daughter of illustrator N.C. and sister of painters Andrew and Carolyn, was a recognized and talented artist (landscapes and portraiture) in her own right. This lyrical selection offers a vivid portrayal of an imagined day in which the young girl and her father drift across the land around their home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, painting, thinking, and musing on some technical and more ethereal aspects of art as they go. Warm, glowing images depict the painters at work as well as the rolling landscapes and sky that some may recognize from N.C.’s and Andrew’s paintings while the poetic text delves deep into Henriette’s imagination and includes ideas and descriptions from the writings of Henriette and her father. The fact that her experiences and successes were unusual for a woman of her time goes unmentioned. Nevertheless, this quiet yet joyful selection is both inviting and inspiring, and it will resonate with budding artists. Dreamlike and sparkling stream-of-consciousness writing brings to mind Virginia Woolf—and for Henriette, the outdoors clearly provided a room of her own. There is a lone photo of Henriette and a reproduction of a still life in the endnotes along with notes from both author and illustrator. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-23-inch double-page spreads viewed at 58.6% of actual size.)

Evocative description intertwines with joyful illustration in an imagined day in the life of a young artist. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-951836-04-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance.

MUMBET'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

With the words of Massachusetts colonial rebels ringing in her ears, a slave determines to win her freedom.

In 1780, Mumbet heard the words of the new Massachusetts constitution, including its declaration of freedom and equality. With the help of a young lawyer, she went to court and the following year, won her freedom, becoming Elizabeth Freeman. Slavery was declared illegal and subsequently outlawed in the state. Woelfle writes with fervor as she describes Mumbet’s life in the household of John Ashley, a rich landowner and businessman who hosted protest meetings against British taxation. His wife was abrasive and abusive, striking out with a coal shovel at a young girl, possibly Mumbet’s daughter. Mumbet deflected the blow and regarded the wound as “her badge of bravery.” Ironically, the lawyer who took her case, Theodore Sedgwick, had attended John Ashley’s meetings. Delinois’ full-bleed paintings are heroic in scale, richly textured and vibrant. Typography becomes part of the page design as the font increases when the text mentions freedom. Another slave in the Ashley household was named in the court case, but Woelfle, keeping her young audience in mind, keeps it simple, wisely focusing on Mumbet.

A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance. (author’s note, selected bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6589-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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