The informational text proves why Daniel Boone is synonymous with the pioneer spirit.

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A PICTURE BOOK OF DANIEL BOONE

From the Picture Book Biographies series

Adler, collaborating with his son, expands his extensive repertoire of picture-book biographies of famous Americans with this worthy addition featuring Daniel Boone.

Beginning with the frontiersman’s birth in 1734 to Quakers who left England and settled in Pennsylvania for religious freedom, the straightforward text follows the same format as the authors’ previous biographies. Sprinkled with documented quotes, double-page spreads introduce specific events in Boone’s life. Descriptions of his curiosity in childhood, his job as a wagon driver for the British during the French and Indian War, and his constant search for better hunting grounds lead up to his establishment of a settlement in Kentucky (then still part of Virginia) and blazing the route from Virginia to Kentucky that came to be called the Wilderness Trail. The authors heighten the perils by including several Shawnee Indian attacks Boone and his family encountered, but they do not balance the topic by indicating why the Native Americans felt threatened. Complemented by realistic illustrations that depict the lushness of unexplored land and an attention to the details of soldiers’, settlers’ and Native Americans’ clothing and homes, the biography is still a good source for browsing and school reports. Appended lists of important dates and related websites, as well as authors’ notes, will assist with the latter.

The informational text proves why Daniel Boone is synonymous with the pioneer spirit. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2748-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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A resplendent masterpiece.

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DREAMERS

Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales’ latest offers an immigrant’s tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love.

This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. Soon after, mother and son step on a bridge, expansive “like the universe,” to cross to the other side, to become immigrants. An ethereal city appears, enfolded in fog. The brown-skinned woman and her child walk through this strange new land, unwilling to speak, unaccustomed to “words unlike those of our ancestors.” But soon their journey takes them to the most marvelous of places: the library. In a series of stunning double-page spreads, Morales fully captures the sheer bliss of discovery as their imaginations take flight. The vibrant, surreal mixed-media artwork, including Mexican fabric, metal sheets, “the comal where I grill my quesadillas,” childhood drawings, and leaves and plants, represents a spectacular culmination of the author’s work thus far. Presented in both English and Spanish editions (the latter in Teresa Mlawer’s translation), equal in evocative language, the text moves with purpose. No word is unnecessary, each a deliberate steppingstone onto the next. Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as “soñadores of the world.”

A resplendent masterpiece. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4055-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Successful neither as biography nor sermon.

I AM ABRAHAM LINCOLN

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

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

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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