Empowering.

READ REVIEW

PIES FROM NOWHERE

HOW GEORGIA GILMORE SUSTAINED THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT

Despite significant danger to themselves, Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere raised support for the Montgomery bus boycott.

Georgia Gilmore was an excellent cook and baker. The third-person narrator explains that when Rosa Parks was jailed, Georgia had already been boycotting the Montgomery buses (due to mistreatment from drivers) for two months. Tired of injustice, when the citywide boycott began, Georgia wanted to support the cause. So she made use of her remarkable culinary skills: Along with other women, she cooked and baked, donating their sales to the cause. To avoid retribution, the proceeds were donated anonymously. The boycott is explained simply—even children with no prior knowledge of segregation or the civil rights movement will be able to follow the story with little exposition. Though Georgia eventually faced retaliation, she remained true to her beliefs and became an entrepreneur, creating a safe meeting space for civil rights leaders. The text placement sometimes feels clunky, and some of the single-page spreads can feel confusing in juxtaposition (though the art is otherwise well-executed). Despite these minor flaws, the message that, like Georgia, everyone can find a place in the fight for social justice is clear. Pair with Monica Clark-Robinson and Frank Morrison’s Let the Children March (2017) and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson’s Someday Is Now (2017) or other titles that highlight lesser-known figures for a fuller understanding of the civil rights movement.

Empowering. (sources, author’s note, recipe) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0720-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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Blandly laudatory.

I AM WALT DISNEY

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The iconic animator introduces young readers to each “happy place” in his life.

The tally begins with his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri, and climaxes with Disneyland (carefully designed to be “the happiest place on Earth”), but the account really centers on finding his true happy place, not on a map but in drawing. In sketching out his early flubs and later rocket to the top, the fictive narrator gives Ub Iwerks and other Disney studio workers a nod (leaving his labor disputes with them unmentioned) and squeezes in quick references to his animated films, from Steamboat Willie to Winnie the Pooh (sans Fantasia and Song of the South). Eliopoulos incorporates stills from the films into his cartoon illustrations and, characteristically for this series, depicts Disney as a caricature, trademark mustache in place on outsized head even in childhood years and child sized even as an adult. Human figures default to white, with occasional people of color in crowd scenes and (ahistorically) in the animation studio. One unidentified animator builds up the role-modeling with an observation that Walt and Mickey were really the same (“Both fearless; both resourceful”). An assertion toward the end—“So when do you stop being a child? When you stop dreaming”—muddles the overall follow-your-bliss message. A timeline to the EPCOT Center’s 1982 opening offers photos of the man with select associates, rodent and otherwise. An additional series entry, I Am Marie Curie, publishes simultaneously, featuring a gowned, toddler-sized version of the groundbreaking physicist accepting her two Nobel prizes.

Blandly laudatory. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2875-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so.

WOMEN ARTISTS A TO Z

Contemporary and historical female artists are showcased for younger readers.

The artists’ names aren’t presented in A-to-Z order. The alphabetical arrangement actually identifies signature motifs (“D is for Dots” for Yayoi Kusama); preferred media (“I is for Ink” for Elizabeth Catlett); or cultural, natural, or personal motives underlying artworks (“N is for Nature” for Maya Lin). Various media are covered, such as painting, box assemblage, collage, photography, pottery, and sculpture. One artist named isn’t an individual but rather the Gee’s Bend Collective, “generations of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” renowned for quilting artistry. Each artist and her or their work is introduced on a double-page spread that features succinct descriptions conveying much admiring, easily comprehensible information. Colorful illustrations include graphically simplified representations of the women at work or alongside examples of their art; the spreads provide ample space for readers to understand what the artists produced. Several women were alive when this volume was written; some died in the recent past or last century; two worked several hundred years ago, when female artists were rare. Commendably, the profiled artists are very diverse: African American, Latina, Native American, Asian, white, and multiethnic women are represented; this diversity is reflected in their work, as explained via texts and illustrations.

A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so. (minibiographies, discussion questions, art suggestions) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10872-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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