Peanut, a young African-American girl, gets a lesson in emergency management. Peanut’s mother doesn’t arrive to take her home from school. She is grouchy and not a little spooked. She looks for her emergency money zipped into her sneakers to make a phone call, but remembers she spent it on cupcakes. While she is pondering what to do, a stranger asks her to come help him find his lost dog. Peanut remembers that she is not to talk to strangers, so she heads for the coffee shop where she knows the owner, Mrs. Yee. They call Peanut’s home, but there is no answer. Peanut feels “icy silver sad” and when it comes time to close the shop, Mrs. Yee tells Peanut she can come home with her. Peanut says she cannot go to anyone’s house without telling her mother. They are about to call the police—Peanut now feeling “queasy-orange-sick-to-my-stomach worried”—when Mrs. Yee tries Peanut’s home once more and her mom answers (the car broke down). Though she did spend her emergency money on cupcakes and also wandered away from school, her family sings Peanut’s praises for avoiding strangers, getting help, and for being brave and keeping her head. It’s emergency enough any time little kids are left to their own devices, but it will likely happen and this safety primer should help keep the boogies at bay. A list of safety rules is attached to the jacket and can be retrieved from the publisher’s Web site as well. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-57091-444-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002



An affecting snapshot of a tragic day.

An old, unwanted cart becomes part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s funeral procession.

Two men borrow the cart from an antiques store and paint it green, the color of freshly watered grass. They take it to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and hitch two mules to it. Outside the church, crowds gather, while inside, the pews are filled with a weeping congregation. Slowly, the mules pull the cart carrying Dr. King’s coffin through the streets of Atlanta to Morehouse College for a second service. The cart, its day’s journey completed, is now part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Bunting uses simple declarative sentences to capture the sorrow of the day and the message that King’s followers were intent upon proclaiming—his greatness came from humble beginnings. The mules, Belle and Ada, were a reminder that upon freedom, slaves were given forty acres and a mule. Tate’s pencil-and-gouache artwork plays up the details of the cart and the two mules while depicting the crowds of mourners less distinctly. Adults looking for a title to share with young readers will find this helpful in imparting the emotions raised by King’s assassination.

An affecting snapshot of a tragic day. (afterword) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58089-387-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013



From the Ordinary People Change the World series

Successful neither as biography nor sermon.

Our 16th president is presented as an activist for human and civil rights.

Lincoln resembles a doll with an oversized head as he strides through a first-person narrative that stretches the limits of credulity and usefulness. From childhood, Abe, bearded and sporting a stovepipe hat, loves to read, write and look out for animals. He stands up to bullies, noting that “the hardest fights don’t reveal a winner—but they do reveal character.” He sees slaves, and the sight haunts him. When the Civil War begins, he calls it a struggle to end slavery. Not accurate. The text further calls the Gettysburg ceremonies a “big event” designed to “reenergize” Union supporters and states that the Emancipation Proclamation “freed all those people.” Not accurate. The account concludes with a homily to “speak louder then you’ve ever spoken before,” as Lincoln holds the Proclamation in his hands. Eliopoulos’ comic-style digital art uses speech bubbles for conversational asides. A double-page spread depicts Lincoln, Confederate soldiers, Union soldiers, white folk and African-American folk walking arm in arm: an anachronistic reference to civil rights–era protest marches? An unsourced quotation from Lincoln may not actually be Lincoln’s words.

Successful neither as biography nor sermon. (photographs, archival illustration) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4083-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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