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A sunny surf vacation from start to finish.

Sarah Gerhardt is not afraid of heights or speed.

Sarah, whose surname is not provided until the end, began surfing at a young age in Hawaii and quickly learned that she loved surfing big waves most of all, waves as high as 50 feet tall! She learned how to calmly hold her breath when she fell and to be patient finding surfing companions at a time when surfing was a male-dominated sport. Like many girls and women across sports, she had to wear gear and use equipment designed for boys and men. When she moved to California as an adult, she was determined to conquer the Mavericks surf break, and in 1999, she became the first woman to do so, demonstrating that victories can happen every day, not just at major competitions. Diao’s illustrations are extraordinary. Emphasizing the breathtaking landscapes, they treat readers to mostly double-page spreads that allow them to feel like they are in the middle of the ocean with Sarah, who presents White. A stormy scene evokes Hokusai’s Great Wave print. Tsui’s present-tense text effectively conveys Sarah’s determination as well as the excitement of the sport, occasionally ranging to provide needed context, such as the atmospheric conditions that make big waves. A concluding timeline of surfing provides tidbits of Hawaii’s history and indicates that professional surfing is way behind in its quest for equality. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 41.2% of actual size.)

A sunny surf vacation from start to finish. (timeline) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23948-8

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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