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Required reading for young eco-activists.

A warm tribute to an unsung hero of the environmentalist movement.

Every day we hold the results of her labors in our hands. Disturbed by the heedless dumping rampant in the United States and inspired by seeing the way many Japanese households were sorting their trash for collection, Milly Zantow and a friend cashed in their life insurance policies, bought an industrial shredder, and, in 1979, opened a recycling center in their Wisconsin town. That was just the start: along with leading grass-roots efforts with schoolchildren and others to collect discarded items and, equally vital, finding customers for the shredded material (notably a local yo-yo factory), Zantow became an effective advocate for recycling programs everywhere. Beyond that, though, she went on to be instrumental in seeing that the seven little identifying numbers inside triangles that make large-scale plastics recycling possible were adopted as a universal, industrywide standard. (The backmatter includes a chart of the seven plastic resins and their typical uses.) Moser bases her account of Zantow’s life (she died in 2014) and work on interviews with her and her family members, plus a family history. Ritchie’s cartoon sketches of landfills, littered beaches, and trash collectors at work add visual emphasis to the author’s side notes on plastics pollution, yo-yos, and the promise of biodegradable plastics.

Required reading for young eco-activists. (glossary, resource lists) (Biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55498-893-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Thanks to the strenuous efforts of her successor, Tuthmosis III, to eliminate all evidence of her 15th-century b.c.e. reign, the historical record is particularly spotty for Hatshepsut, the most successful of the few women who became rulers of ancient Egypt. Still, hedging the speculative portions of her narrative with plenty of “perhaps”-es and “probably”-s, Andronik (Prince of Humbugs: A Life of P.T. Barnum, 1994) assembles a credible, coherent reconstruction. Coming to power largely due to attrition in the royal family, Hatshepsut assumed an office that had no female referents. Consequently, to reinforce her position, she dressed as a man, even in a false beard, and often referred to herself as a man—which confused the eminent 19th-century archaeologist Champollion, for one, to no end. Basing his figures on ancient statuary and wall paintings, Fiedler creates illustrations in the formal Egyptian style and grand manner, evoking more sense of time and place than personality, but imbuing his portraits of Hatshepsut with a regal air. Younger students of Ancient Egypt and women’s history alike will find this careful, but not stuffy, study worthwhile, and the closing bibliography of fiction and nonfiction provides some intriguing follow-up reading. (Biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-82562-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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Abigail Adams, wife and mother of American presidents, with a remarkable story of her own, gets a rather dull introduction to her life in Wallner's (Sergio and the Hurricane, 2000, etc.) picture-book biography. Wallner's text plods through Abigail's life, noting important dates and events, particularly the birth of all her children. Abigail supports her husband in his fight for independence at home, where she runs the family farm and manages the finances and her growing family. She also joins Adams in England when he is ambassador there. Later, she becomes the first president's wife to live in the White House. Abigail is shown as a strong woman, disappointed in her efforts to win a place for women and blacks in the new Constitution. Readers learn about Abigail's thoughts and personality as she matures from child to adult, from homemaker to public figure, but unfortunately we do not hear more than a few phrases in Abigail's own voice. Abigail, who is known through her many published letters, was a lively and interesting correspondent and little of that liveliness permeates this effort. The author's folkart-style illustrations depict a homely group of colonialists in pleasantly colorful detail. A timeline and bibliography would have been helpful to young researchers. This intelligent, early feminist and civil-rights advocate deserves better. (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8234-1442-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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