A fittingly inspirational tribute to a most praiseworthy man.

FREDERICK'S JOURNEY

THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS

From the Big Words series

Brilliantly crafted words, both written and spoken, defined Frederick Douglass’ dedication to the abolition of slavery and achievement of dignity for all peoples.

Skillfully weaving together her concise narration with Douglass’ own writings, Rappaport has fashioned an accessible, even riveting biography of the great 19th-century American. Born a slave, he was raised by his loving grandmother until his sixth birthday, when the horrors of plantation life replaced her gentle care. During a brief stay in Baltimore, the wife of his owner taught him to read. Growing older, he was sold to a cruel master and nearly broken, yet he resolved to run away and affirm his right to freedom. Living in the North and in England, he began his crusade, through newspapers and speeches, for emancipation and voting rights. Readers will gain an understanding of and empathy for his resolve and drive. Ladd’s powerful and dramatic full-bleed art is richly textured and detailed. Expressive faces, tranquil Maryland scenes, and battlefields fill the pages. The front cover, as in the author’s Martin’s Big Words (2001), which garnered a Caldecott honor for illustrator Bryan Collier, is a striking full-page portrait. At the conclusion, a double-page spread depicts contemporary children gazing at the likeness of Douglass in a museum, helping to make him a real—not just historical—figure.

A fittingly inspirational tribute to a most praiseworthy man. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, important dates, selected research sources) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1438-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering.

THE AMAZING AGE OF JOHN ROY LYNCH

An honestly told biography of an important politician whose name every American should know.

Published while the United States has its first African-American president, this story of John Roy Lynch, the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, lays bare the long and arduous path black Americans have walked to obtain equality. The title’s first three words—“The Amazing Age”—emphasize how many more freedoms African-Americans had during Reconstruction than for decades afterward. Barton and Tate do not shy away from honest depictions of slavery, floggings, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, or the various means of intimidation that whites employed to prevent blacks from voting and living lives equal to those of whites. Like President Barack Obama, Lynch was of biracial descent; born to an enslaved mother and an Irish father, he did not know hard labor until his slave mistress asked him a question that he answered honestly. Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, Lynch had a long and varied career that points to his resilience and perseverance. Tate’s bright watercolor illustrations often belie the harshness of what takes place within them; though this sometimes creates a visual conflict, it may also make the book more palatable for young readers unaware of the violence African-Americans have suffered than fully graphic images would. A historical note, timeline, author’s and illustrator’s notes, bibliography and map are appended.

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering. (Picture book biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5379-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more