WHEN ESTHER MORRIS HEADED WEST

WOMEN, WYOMING, AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE

In 1869, at the age of 55, a big woman with a big name—Esther Mae Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris—headed to Wyoming Territory. She believed a woman should be able to vote and to hold office and she set about to see to it that she could in South Pass City. Sure enough, on election day her doctor attested that “the operation of voting had no ill effects on a woman’s health.” She went on to become Justice of the Peace when her predecessor resigned over woman suffrage only to turn the job back over to him, once she’d proven herself. When the demise of gold fever caused South Pass City to dwindle, Esther Morris moved on to other places in Wyoming, but she had made a convert to the cause in a young lawyer named Ben Sheeks, who brought the message to Washington State and Utah. The story is told as the rollicking tale it is, and the brightly colored pictures feature the exaggerated facial expressions and golden exterior light of a fine Wild West, cartoon newsreel. Even the horses have big personalities. Wyoming was the first territory to grant women the right to vote, decades before American women in general could. This is a fun-loving look at one woman’s place in that history. An author’s note includes sources, Web sites, and places to visit. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8234-1597-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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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

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THE FANTASTIC UNDERSEA LIFE OF JACQUES COUSTEAU

This second early biography of Cousteau in a year echoes Jennifer Berne’s Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (2008), illustrated by Eric Puybaret, in offering visuals that are more fanciful than informational, but also complements it with a focus less on the early life of the explorer and eco-activist than on his later inventions and achievements. In full-bleed scenes that are often segmented and kaleidoscopic, Yaccarino sets his hook-nosed subject amid shoals of Impressionistic fish and other marine images, rendered in multiple layers of thinly applied, imaginatively colored paint. His customarily sharp, geometric lines take on the wavy translucence of undersea shapes with a little bit of help from the airbrush. Along with tracing Cousteau’s undersea career from his first, life-changing, pair of goggles and the later aqualung to his minisub Sea Flea, the author pays tribute to his revolutionary film and TV work, and his later efforts to call attention to the effects of pollution. Cousteau’s enduring fascination with the sea comes through clearly, and can’t help sparking similar feelings in readers. (chronology, source list) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-375-85573-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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