Noncanonical entries make this a natural companion or follow-up for Kathleen Krull’s essential Lives of the Artists,...

KID ARTISTS

TRUE TALES OF CHILDHOOD FROM CREATIVE LEGENDS

From the Kid Legends series , Vol. 3

For budding artists, here’s a heartening reminder that 17 unconventional greats—not to mention all the rest—started out as children too.

The pseudonymous Stabler (Robert Schnakenberg in real life) adopts a liberal admissions policy for his latest gathering of anecdotal profiles (Kid Presidents, 2014, etc.). In a chapter on the influence of nature and wildlife on early artistic visions, Leonardo da Vinci and the young Vincent van Gogh rub shoulders with Beatrix Potter and Emily Carr; in another focusing on overcoming shyness or other personal, social, or economic obstacles, Jackson Pollock hangs out with Charles Schulz, Yoko Ono, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In a third chapter that highlights the importance of a supportive parent, teacher, or other cheerleader, fathers do for prodigious young Pablo Picasso and polio-stricken Frida Kahlo, his mother for Andy Warhol, art instructors for Jacob Lawrence and Keith Haring. The author owns an easy, readable style, and though he leaves out quite a lot—Diego Rivera goes unmentioned in the Kahlo entry, nor do van Gogh’s suicide, Basquiat’s heroin addiction, or anyone’s sexual orientation come up—he’s chosen his subjects with an eye toward diversity of background, upbringing, and, eventually, style and media. Horner lightens the overall tone further with cartoon vignettes of caricatured but recognizable figures.

Noncanonical entries make this a natural companion or follow-up for Kathleen Krull’s essential Lives of the Artists, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (1995). (bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59474-896-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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An inventive introduction to a fascinating historical figure.

LA MALINCHE

THE PRINCESS WHO HELPED CORTÉS CONQUER THE AZTEC EMPIRE

Another collaborative effort by the team that created The Poet King of Tezcoco: A Great Leader of Ancient Mexico (2007) chronicles the life of a controversial figure in pre-colonial Mesoamerica.

The indigenous woman who would serve as Hernán Cortés’ interpreter and companion was born in the early 1500s as Malinali and later christened Marina. She is now called La Malinche. Besides serving as translator to the Spaniard, she also gave him advice on native customs, religious beliefs and the ways of the Aztec. While Marina’s decision to help the Spanish in their often brutal quest for supremacy has led to many negative associations, others see her as the mother of all Mexicans, as she and Cortés had the first recorded mestizo. Although many of the details surrounding the specifics of Marina’s life were unrecorded, Serrano strengthens the narrative with quotations by her contemporaries and provides a balanced look at the life of a complicated, oft-maligned woman. Headers provide structure as events sometimes shift from the specific to the very broad, and some important facts are glossed over or relegated to the timeline. Reminiscent of pre-colonial documents, the illustrations convey both Marina’s adulation of Cortés and the violence of the Spanish conquest, complete with severed limbs, decapitations and more.

An inventive introduction to a fascinating historical figure. (map, chronology, glossary, sources and further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55498-111-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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A facile portrait that substitutes positivity and platitudes for real insight.

IVANKA TRUMP

A BRAND OF HER OWN

A quickie profile of a “daddy’s girl” who has only ever wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps while “remaining her own person.”

Opening and closing with strong hints that she may try to follow her father into the Oval Office too in a few years, Doeden retraces Trump’s course from childhood and the Marla Maples scandal through schooling, modeling, marriage, and starting a family along with various business enterprises. He salutes her intelligence and work ethic, suggests that she joined her father’s campaign more out of family loyalty than agreement with his stated platform, and claims that working in the White House “will give her a chance to help drive policies about which she is passionate, including childcare reform.” Readers hoping for insight into her character, values, or specifics of those “policies” will find no more than bland generalities here. Color photos show her looking glossy and glamorous while posing at podiums, with her children, her father, and (possibly former) “close friend” Chelsea Clinton.

A facile portrait that substitutes positivity and platitudes for real insight. (source notes, timeline, print and web resources, index) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8624-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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