The time-traveling twins are off on their second adventure in this sequel to Roughing It on the Oregon Trail (2000). Liz and Lenny love to visit their grandmother—and her wonderful hat. When Lenny chooses a portrait of an ancestor, Grandma digs through some clothing to find the right costumes, puts her hat on her head, and the adventure begins. Suddenly they find themselves transported to wintry Boston of 1773. As they find Ben, the boy from the portrait, they meet his family and become immersed in colonial life—eating Indian pudding, using the outhouse, and talking politics over dinner. All the while, they learn about the conflict over British taxation and ultimately they participate in throwing tea into the harbor. As they return home, Grandma reminds the twins of the date and they realize that Ben has given them much more than a memory. In a combination of formats, Stanley narrates a standard text, while comic-style bubbles show dialogue. Facts are sprinkled throughout. Although this format is by nature difficult to follow, here most of the bubbles are read top to bottom and left to right, minimizing the problem. The twins are curious and ask many of the questions children today would want answered—“Hey Grandma, what is that pot under the bed for?” Their dog provides the comic relief in the story, with dialogue bubbles all his own. Berry’s illustrations are wonderfully detailed, from the clothing and the cooking fire, to the busy street and harbor scenes. The endpapers give added information—the front is a map of the 13 colonies, the back a comparison of objects used in the 1700s and those used today for the same purposes (lighting, clothing, plumbing, etc.). This is as much about colonial days as it is about the Revolution—a great introduction, and an inspiration for further reading and research. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-027067-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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First published in 1968 and newly illustrated by Vitale, this is a history of the Christian celebration of Easter that, after briefly recounting the story of the Resurrection, links the holiday to other spring festivals, covers the ancient custom of giving the gift of an egg (a symbol of the new life of spring), and includes contemporary customs, such as the fashionable stroll down New York City's Fifth Avenue after church on that day. Also included are instructions for egg decoration and a recipe for hot cross buns. Even the recipe demonstrates the clear, informative prose of Fisher, whose expert organization leads from topic to topic. Vitale's illustrations are a marvel; each full-page picture is filled with details that reflect the times, the flora, and the culture of the era shown, colored with a range of appropriate earth tones. Every element of design makes this an inviting addition to the holiday shelf, even for those already owning the original book with Ati Forberg's illustrations. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-027296-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996

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Timely and stirring.



A shoutout to heroes of nonviolent protest, from Sam Adams to the Parkland students.

Kicking off a proud tradition, “Samuel threw a tea party.” In the same vein, “Harriet led the way,” “Susan cast her vote,” “Rosa kept her seat,” “Ruby went to school,” and “Martin had a dream.” But Easton adds both newer and less-prominent names to the familiar roster: “Tommie and John raised their fists” (at the 1968 Summer Olympics, also depicted on the cover), for instance; “John and Yoko stayed in bed”; “Gilbert sewed a rainbow” (for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade in 1978); “Jazz wore a dress”; and “America [Ferrera] said, ‘Time’s up.’ ” Viewed from low or elevated angles that give them a monumental look, the grave, determined faces of the chosen subjects shine with lapidary dignity in Chen’s painted, close-up portraits. Variations in features and skin tone are rather subtle, but in general both the main lineup and groups of onlookers are visibly diverse. The closing notes are particularly valuable—not only filling in the context and circumstances of each act of protest (and the full names of the protesters), but laying out its personal consequences: Rosa Parks and her husband lost their jobs, as did Ruby Bridges’ first-grade teacher, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos were banned for life from Olympic competition. Pull quotes in both the art and the endnotes add further insight and inspiration.

Timely and stirring. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984831-97-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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