Mulhall may not be a household name, but Lang makes her memorable for anyone who admires go-getters who beat the odds and...

READ REVIEW

THE ORIGINAL COWGIRL

THE WILD ADVENTURES OF LUCILLE MULHALL

The story of famed rodeo queen Lucille Mulhall is retold as a lesson in girl power and following one's dreams.

As a girl growing up in the 1890s in Oklahoma, Lucille showed a natural talent for roping and horse riding, pursuits that weren't considered ladylike at the time. But through dedication and the support of her father, Col. Zack Mulhall, Lucille impressed others with her skills, besting boys in competitions and eventually performing for then–vice president Teddy Roosevelt. She toured the world as her fame grew, paving the way for other cowgirls. As told by Lang, who previously wrote about Olympian Alice Coachman (Queen of the Track, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, 2012), Mulhall's life was filled with doubters she proved wrong with undeniable skill. Though there's plenty of history, including a supplemental two-page biography and timeline in the backmatter (though no sources), there's no lack of sass and color. Lang writes colloquially ("Colonel Mulhall reckoned it was a fine idea") without overdoing it. The rodeo scenes contain the right amount of suspense, given Lucille's obvious trajectory. Illustrations are expressively bright and splashy, with amusing expressions on the roped horses and cattle as well as more staid representations of the vast Oklahoma landscape. 

Mulhall may not be a household name, but Lang makes her memorable for anyone who admires go-getters who beat the odds and break barriers. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8075-2931-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A resplendent masterpiece.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

DREAMERS

Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales’ latest offers an immigrant’s tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love.

This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. Soon after, mother and son step on a bridge, expansive “like the universe,” to cross to the other side, to become immigrants. An ethereal city appears, enfolded in fog. The brown-skinned woman and her child walk through this strange new land, unwilling to speak, unaccustomed to “words unlike those of our ancestors.” But soon their journey takes them to the most marvelous of places: the library. In a series of stunning double-page spreads, Morales fully captures the sheer bliss of discovery as their imaginations take flight. The vibrant, surreal mixed-media artwork, including Mexican fabric, metal sheets, “the comal where I grill my quesadillas,” childhood drawings, and leaves and plants, represents a spectacular culmination of the author’s work thus far. Presented in both English and Spanish editions (the latter in Teresa Mlawer’s translation), equal in evocative language, the text moves with purpose. No word is unnecessary, each a deliberate steppingstone onto the next. Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as “soñadores of the world.”

A resplendent masterpiece. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4055-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more