An unremarkable introduction to a remarkable man.

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JACKSON SUNDOWN

NATIVE AMERICAN BRONCO BUSTER

Despite the odds, Jackson Sundown, a Nez Perce youth, became a champion rider.

In 1877 the United States Army attacked 17-year-old Jackson’s encampment, ending the Nez Perce’s famed attempt to avoid relocation from their homeland. He escaped and fled to Canada; meanwhile, the tribal leader, Chief Joseph, had no choice but to surrender, forcing the remaining Nez Perce to move to Indian Territory. Years later, Jackson returned from Canada and worked on ranches in Idaho training horses. When he was 49, he began entering rodeo competitions. He rode both horses and bulls and earned a reputation as a showman. At the age of 53, Jackson won the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up World Championship for bronco riding. Well after his death in 1923, Jackson was admitted to the Pendleton Roundup Hall of Fame, and in 1976 he was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the only Native American to be included. Following a brief overview of the last days of Nez Perce independence, Fisher’s biography focuses on Jackson’s career. In this straightforward account, the racism Sundown faced is touched on but not explored; the use of the term “costume” instead of the more respectful word “regalia” is a serious oversight. Cotton’s colorful and lively illustrations capture the spirit of the rodeo.

An unremarkable introduction to a remarkable man. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4556-2361-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pelican

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world.

GRANDMA'S GARDENS

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.

Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate’s mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy’s wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer’s translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11535-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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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