Inspiring and up, up, and away all the way.

ME AND THE SKY

CAPTAIN BEVERLEY BASS, PIONEERING PILOT

For Beverley Bass, the sky had no limits.

Bass always dreamed of taking to the skies. In her teens, she took flying lessons and earned her license. Her flights of fancy transcended recreational soaring, though: She yearned to be an airline pilot—when only men had that job. Undeterred, Bass continued training, earned more licenses, and took jobs male pilots turned down or left when better ones arose. Thanks to intelligence, determination, and skill, she developed solid experience and established an enviable reputation. Bass’ big breaks came when American Airlines hired her as a flight engineer, then promoted her to co-pilot. Her lifelong aspiration became a reality when she became the first woman ever to captain an American Airlines commercial airliner. More history-making achievements followed. Then came 9/11. Flying from Paris to Dallas, Bass’ jet was directed to Gander, Newfoundland, along with 37 other carriers, when U.S. airspace was closed after the twin towers fell. This is a soaring tale, told with verve by Bass herself together with Williams. The retro, cartoonish illustrations might seem at odds with the recent setting, but they succeed with this narrative, as they also evoke spirited enthusiasm. The artwork, starring a smiling, plucky white, blonde Bass, embraces people of color as well as of various ages, including among airline professionals; readers will notice graying and gray-haired individuals.

Inspiring and up, up, and away all the way. (biographical note) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64549-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Despite minor bumps, a ride that’s worth returning to.

HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER

Pearl and her robot, Pascal, take their coding skills for a spin at the amusement park in this Girls Who Code picture book, a follow-up to How To Code a Sandcastle (2018).

The park has many rides to choose from, and Pearl has 10 tokens to last her the day. But her favorite ride, the Python roller coaster, looks busy. Pearl decides to do something else fun, using code concepts such as variables to keep track of the length of the line and her remaining tokens and a conditional statement to decide when to return to the Python. Throughout, computer science terms are defined crisply in the text and vividly illustrated in the pictures, which use images such as popcorn bags for variables and the Ferris wheel for loops (keeping track of ice cream flavors seems somewhat contrived). The backmatter explains these ideas more fully. Pascal’s too-literal interpretations of Pearl’s statements make for several amusing moments along the way. When Pearl runs short of tokens (a missed opportunity to talk about checking for more than one condition?), she’s undaunted by the disaster, taking readers on a fun hunt for a secret hidden password, in a nod to the importance of proper sequencing. Pearl has brown skin and black curls; others at the park have a variety of skin tones.

Despite minor bumps, a ride that’s worth returning to. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-425-29203-7

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

HELLO AUTUMN!

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more