Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will...

POLKA DOT PARADE

A BOOK ABOUT BILL CUNNINGHAM

A picture-book tribute to fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

From fashion and beauty journalist and children’s author Blumenthal comes a touching tale of one of New York’s most beloved and slightly eccentric fashion icons. With his signature “blue French worker’s jacket, tan pants, and black sneakers” and a camera “slung around his neck,” for decades Cunningham cycled the streets of Manhattan, seeking both the figures who made fashion and those who consumed and put it proudly on display each day. “He who seeks beauty will find it,” said Cunningham, the humble hat maker–turned-photojournalist who single-handedly created the genre of street-fashion photography, presenting the images of regular people and models together in his New York Times photo column “like squares on a story quilt.” D’yans’ scintillating watercolors, depicting Bill in action on the street or his subjects who “looked like leopards in their leopard prints, …dudes in dots and spots,” perfectly match Cunningham’s unassuming edginess with their ragged splashes of brilliant color and deft smear technique that creates a three-dimensional illusion of motion. Seasoning her spare text just so with Cunningham’s own voice (sourced in notes), Blumenthal effectively communicates her admiration for her subject.

Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will always be in vogue. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0664-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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