A gift to young readers with adventurous, poetic souls.

IN SEARCH OF THE LITTLE PRINCE

THE STORY OF ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry might have loved young readers had he grown old and continued writing—certainly there’s much for children to love about the daring French aviator.

Landmann’s illustrated account, originally published in Italian and translated by the American publisher, is based on Saint-Exupéry’s writings. Photographs of Saint-Exupéry with siblings, aunt, comrades and wife, Consuelo, appear on the front endpapers. Landmann includes a fair amount of detail about Saint-Exupéry’s childhood, but his work as a pioneer of civil aviation forms the backbone of the story, with his life as a poet and a writer as the heart. The full-bleed illustrations are informed by magical realism if not surrealism, conveying a rich interior life of dreams and imagination alongside the external world. Her Tonio (as he was called) is solemn, his large eyes focused on something beyond the present. A grid of small windows against a desert landscape narrates moments from his career. If the drawings of airplanes are more impressionistic than precise, they nevertheless suggest the enchantment of being aloft in a small plane. A scene of Saint-Exupéry working on the manuscript for Le Petit Prince includes a peek at his imagined characters; the delightful back cover depicts the Little Prince and Tonio, shoes off, sitting in opposite chairs, apparently deep in speculative conversation. Sources cited are in Italian and include Saint-Exupéry’s writings and Consuelo’s memoir.

A gift to young readers with adventurous, poetic souls. (Picture book/biography. 6-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5435-3

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering.

THE AMAZING AGE OF JOHN ROY LYNCH

An honestly told biography of an important politician whose name every American should know.

Published while the United States has its first African-American president, this story of John Roy Lynch, the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, lays bare the long and arduous path black Americans have walked to obtain equality. The title’s first three words—“The Amazing Age”—emphasize how many more freedoms African-Americans had during Reconstruction than for decades afterward. Barton and Tate do not shy away from honest depictions of slavery, floggings, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, or the various means of intimidation that whites employed to prevent blacks from voting and living lives equal to those of whites. Like President Barack Obama, Lynch was of biracial descent; born to an enslaved mother and an Irish father, he did not know hard labor until his slave mistress asked him a question that he answered honestly. Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, Lynch had a long and varied career that points to his resilience and perseverance. Tate’s bright watercolor illustrations often belie the harshness of what takes place within them; though this sometimes creates a visual conflict, it may also make the book more palatable for young readers unaware of the violence African-Americans have suffered than fully graphic images would. A historical note, timeline, author’s and illustrator’s notes, bibliography and map are appended.

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering. (Picture book biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5379-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more