Crisp dialogue and small dramas propel this story of a young woman’s summer of service in wartime and women’s emerging power...

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DOING HER BIT

A STORY ABOUT THE WOMAN'S LAND ARMY OF AMERICA

Based on real events and people, Hagar’s story follows college student Helen Stevens during the summer of 1917 as the white “New York City college girl” learns farming to support the war effort.

As allies in war-torn Europe struggled with food scarcity despite U.S. supplies, American men trained as soldiers or moved from farms to factories. The Woman’s Land Army of America recruited and trained women to work on farms. Helen, who yearns to do more than roll bandages and knit socks for soldiers, enrolls in the Women’s Agricultural Camp in Bedford, New York, despite her parents’ disapproval. She and other “farmerettes” learn to whitewash a dairy, fence a coop, milk cows, and drive a tractor. Ida Ogilvie, the camp’s director, convinces dubious farmer Davie to give Helen, Alice, and Harriet a day’s unpaid trial. At day’s end, he directs them to return to test their work with livestock. Helen digs in, saying, “If you want us back tomorrow, it’ll be two dollars a day for each of us.” Hill’s Photoshopped gouache paintings, in a palette of green, gray-brown, gold, and pink, use flat color and simple contours to depict fields, workers, and pastel summer skies. Characters are white, perhaps reflecting the camp’s composition.

Crisp dialogue and small dramas propel this story of a young woman’s summer of service in wartime and women’s emerging power on the homefront. (author’s note, web search ideas, bibliography, period posters and photographs) (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58089-646-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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The runt of the litter of print titles and websites covering the topic.

PRESIDENT ADAMS' ALLIGATOR

This tally of presidential pets reads like a school report (for all that the author is a journalist for Fox Business Network) and isn’t helped by its suite of amateurish illustrations.

Barnes frames the story with a teacher talking to her class and closes it with quizzes and a write-on “ballot.” Presidents from Washington to Obama—each paired to mentions of birds, dogs, livestock, wild animals and other White House co-residents—parade past in a rough, usually undated mix of chronological order and topical groupings. The text is laid out in monotonous blocks over thinly colored scenes that pose awkwardly rendered figures against White House floors or green lawns. In evident recognition that the presidents might be hard to tell apart, on some (but not enough) pages they carry identifying banners. The animals aren’t so differentiated; an unnamed goat that William Henry Harrison is pulling along with his cow Sukey in one picture looks a lot like one that belonged to Benjamin Harrison, and in some collective views, it’s hard to tell which animals go with which first family.

The runt of the litter of print titles and websites covering the topic. (bibliography, notes for adult readers) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62157-035-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Patriot Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Each travelogue is narrated by a big sister, a device that deftly reveals the striking differences—and similarities—between...

WAGONS HO!

This spry outing contrasts parallel westward journeys of two families—one traveling by covered wagon in 1846, the other by car, trailer and moving van in a modern-day relocation.

Each travelogue is narrated by a big sister, a device that deftly reveals the striking differences—and similarities—between children in the two eras. Jenny says, “Our trip will take five months, from May to September. I’ve heard that some people die on the trail. I hope we survive the journey.” Katie journals, “Our trip will take five days, from Monday to Friday….All that driving—not to mention my brother driving me crazy the whole way. How will I survive?” The pioneering Johnsons must sell livestock and leave behind heavy furniture. Jenny and her brother Ned walk most of the way, leaving the jouncing wagon’s 4x10-foot interior for provisions. The Millers ship or stow most possessions and utilize hotels en route.  Children will respond to the emotions linking the children across time—Jenny must give away her beloved cat, while Katie observes “All I do is say goodbye.” Avril’s appealing illustrations combine cartoonish, kid-friendly sequencing and engaging details. Design elements that include split panels and contrasting typography highlight the dual experiences, while speech bubbles and chatty details unite them.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8612-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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