“So, speak up, rise up, dream big,” Clinton urges—but, again, offers only tantalizing glimpses of women who did that.

READ REVIEW

SHE PERSISTED AROUND THE WORLD

13 WOMEN WHO CHANGED HISTORY

A scope-broadening companion to She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World (2017).

Arranged in their subjects’ birth order (though frequently without any dates), the brief tributes focus on the achievements of selected women from countries other than the U.S. Activists’ causes include the right to an education (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico, and Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan), environmentalism (Wangari Maathai, Kenya), anti-war protests (Leymah Gbowee, Liberia) and women’s suffrage (Kate Sheppard, New Zealand, whose cause included Maori women). Marie Curie gets a nod for her two Nobel prizes, Egyptian Aisha Rateb for her trailblazing legal career, and Joanne “J.K.” Rowling for Harry Potter. Brazilian soccer star Sisleide “Sissi” Lima do Amor is the one athlete in the lineup. The roster is, overall, both racially and nationally diverse—though as Chinese-American dancer Yuan Yuan Tan has spent most of her life in this country, East Asia seems underrepresented. Personal detail is so skimpy that, for instance, readers will have to infer from context that Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond was a woman of color. Clinton does note that astronomer Caroline Herschel was barely 4 feet tall due to a childhood disease, and following an early accident, pioneering Indian doctor Mary Verghese worked from a wheelchair. Each entry appears with a visionary quote and, from Boiger, fluidly brushed watercolor portraits of the subject as a dignified adult and also, often, a child. There is no backmatter to guide inspired readers to further information.

“So, speak up, rise up, dream big,” Clinton urges—but, again, offers only tantalizing glimpses of women who did that. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-51699-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Blandly laudatory.

I AM WALT DISNEY

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The iconic animator introduces young readers to each “happy place” in his life.

The tally begins with his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri, and climaxes with Disneyland (carefully designed to be “the happiest place on Earth”), but the account really centers on finding his true happy place, not on a map but in drawing. In sketching out his early flubs and later rocket to the top, the fictive narrator gives Ub Iwerks and other Disney studio workers a nod (leaving his labor disputes with them unmentioned) and squeezes in quick references to his animated films, from Steamboat Willie to Winnie the Pooh (sans Fantasia and Song of the South). Eliopoulos incorporates stills from the films into his cartoon illustrations and, characteristically for this series, depicts Disney as a caricature, trademark mustache in place on outsized head even in childhood years and child sized even as an adult. Human figures default to white, with occasional people of color in crowd scenes and (ahistorically) in the animation studio. One unidentified animator builds up the role-modeling with an observation that Walt and Mickey were really the same (“Both fearless; both resourceful”). An assertion toward the end—“So when do you stop being a child? When you stop dreaming”—muddles the overall follow-your-bliss message. A timeline to the EPCOT Center’s 1982 opening offers photos of the man with select associates, rodent and otherwise. An additional series entry, I Am Marie Curie, publishes simultaneously, featuring a gowned, toddler-sized version of the groundbreaking physicist accepting her two Nobel prizes.

Blandly laudatory. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2875-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so.

WOMEN ARTISTS A TO Z

Contemporary and historical female artists are showcased for younger readers.

The artists’ names aren’t presented in A-to-Z order. The alphabetical arrangement actually identifies signature motifs (“D is for Dots” for Yayoi Kusama); preferred media (“I is for Ink” for Elizabeth Catlett); or cultural, natural, or personal motives underlying artworks (“N is for Nature” for Maya Lin). Various media are covered, such as painting, box assemblage, collage, photography, pottery, and sculpture. One artist named isn’t an individual but rather the Gee’s Bend Collective, “generations of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” renowned for quilting artistry. Each artist and her or their work is introduced on a double-page spread that features succinct descriptions conveying much admiring, easily comprehensible information. Colorful illustrations include graphically simplified representations of the women at work or alongside examples of their art; the spreads provide ample space for readers to understand what the artists produced. Several women were alive when this volume was written; some died in the recent past or last century; two worked several hundred years ago, when female artists were rare. Commendably, the profiled artists are very diverse: African American, Latina, Native American, Asian, white, and multiethnic women are represented; this diversity is reflected in their work, as explained via texts and illustrations.

A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so. (minibiographies, discussion questions, art suggestions) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10872-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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