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

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MY HAVANA

MEMORIES OF A CUBAN BOYHOOD

Mirroring the career he eventually entered, architect Fernandez builds up, like one of Havana’s ornate structures, memories of childhood in his pre- and post-Castro hometown. A gifted illustrator, he drew constantly, easily rendering even minute architectural details. Before emigrating to New York City, young “Dino” and his family moved first to Madrid to assist relatives. Discovering a dictatorship that wasn’t much different from the one they’d left in Cuba, the family returned home and then finally moved to the United States. Havana was never far from his mind, and art brought solace. So homesick was Dino in Manhattan that he actually “built” a cardboard replica of Havana that captured the colors and warmth he remembered. This fictionalized memoir is for the contemplative reader and anyone who has felt out of place or yearned for a beloved home; it could serve as a catalyst for creative expression. Wells has chosen anecdotes wisely, and Ferguson’s illustrations are atmospheric, capturing Dino’s childlike enthusiasm and longing. An author’s note reveals how Wells came to know of and be inspired by Fernandez’s story. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4305-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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There's a need for a good book for kids about Ansel Adams—and this one misses the mark.

ANTSY ANSEL

ANSEL ADAMS, A LIFE IN NATURE

This distillation of the photographer’s life and achievements focuses on his “antsy” youth and early influences.

A distracted, sickly student, Ansel reveled in nature along the beaches near his San Francisco home. He blossomed after his prescient father withdrew him from formal schooling, enabling home tutoring and such experiences as a season ticket to San Francisco’s 1915 world’s fair. Effectively employing onomatopoeia, Jenson-Elliott reveals 14-year-old Ansel’s pivotal experience at Yosemite. On a family trip, “Ansel got his first glimpse of Yosemite Valley—the ripple-rush-ROAR! of water and light! Light! Light! It was love at first sight.” In Yosemite, his parents gave him his first camera, and “he was off— Run-leap-scramble—SNAP!…Ansel’s photos became a / journal of everything he saw.” The final five double-page spreads compress 60-plus years: photography expeditions in Yosemite, marriage to Virginia Best, Adams’ government-commissioned work documenting the national parks, and the enduring importance of his photographic record of the American wild lands. Hale’s collages blend traditional and digital layering and include cropped photographic images such as Adams’ childhood home and wood-paneled station wagon. Her stylized depiction of Yosemite’s Half Dome and decision to render several iconic photographs as painterly thumbnails display a jarring disregard for Adams’ lifelong absorption with technical and visual precision.

There's a need for a good book for kids about Ansel Adams—and this one misses the mark. (biographical note, photographs with note, bibliography of adult resources, websites) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-082-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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