A sunny surf vacation from start to finish.

SARAH AND THE BIG WAVE

THE TRUE STORY OF THE FIRST WOMAN TO SURF MAVERICKS

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 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world.

GRANDMA'S GARDENS

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.

Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate’s mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy’s wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer’s translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11535-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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