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Thoughtful design and substantive content speak volumes about how to appreciate modern art—and its creators.

A glimpse into the passion to create as manifested in the marriage of two 20th-century dynamos.

The protagonists, both White, are introduced as young adults, their likenesses framed on the wall. Christo is “a poor refugee…whose father once ran a fabric factory,” while Jeanne-Claude is “the rich stepdaughter of a French general.” They meet when Christo arrives at Jeanne-Claude’s parents’ home to paint their portraits. Witty repartee turns into genuine interest; she comprehends the meaning of the wrapped objects in his apartment: “It’s revealing—while concealing.” Thus begins a love affair with each other and with implementing large-scale projects to help people see. Many installations are depicted, but Neri focuses more on the reasons for temporarily wrapping buildings, coastlines, islands—art as an experience to live on in memory, as a “scream of freedom,” or, as a young visitor to the fabric-ensconced L’Arc de Triomphe (2021) declares, “Because when you wrap something, it’s a gift.” An author’s note explains the combination of actual and invented dialogue. The palette is fairly muted, with the figures often portrayed in silhouettes or viewed from the back—a choice pairing well with the topic of coverings. This title complements Elisa Boxer’s Covered in Color (2022), illustrated by Susanna Chapman, which provides more background about Christo as well as photographs. Background characters are diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Thoughtful design and substantive content speak volumes about how to appreciate modern art—and its creators. (fun facts, bibliography) (Picture-book biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1661-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40.

From two Nobel Peace Prize winners, an invitation to look past sadness and loneliness to the joy that surrounds us.

Bobbing in the wake of 2016’s heavyweight Book of Joy (2016), this brief but buoyant address to young readers offers an earnest insight: “If you just focus on the thing that is making / you sad, then the sadness is all you see. / But if you look around, you will / see that joy is everywhere.” López expands the simply delivered proposal in fresh and lyrical ways—beginning with paired scenes of the authors as solitary children growing up in very different circumstances on (as they put it) “opposite sides of the world,” then meeting as young friends bonded by streams of rainbow bunting and going on to share their exuberantly hued joy with a group of dancers diverse in terms of age, race, culture, and locale while urging readers to do the same. Though on the whole this comes off as a bit bland (the banter and hilarity that characterized the authors’ recorded interchanges are absent here) and their advice just to look away from the sad things may seem facile in view of what too many children are inescapably faced with, still, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world more qualified to deliver such a message than these two. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-48423-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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