FEIVEL’S FLYING HORSES

When Feivel, an experienced wood carver, arrives in New York from the old country, he is introduced to the wonders of Brooklyn’s new Coney Island amusement park, where he gains employment with the carousel company, making the transition from carving “the fearsome lions that guarded the holy arks in synagogues” in Europe to carousel horses. Over the course of three years he works hard to help create the magnificently ornate wooden horses while earning enough to send for his family. Van der Sterre’s ink-lined, full-bleed watercolors of women in long skirts and bonnets accompanied by mustachioed men delineate a wondrous late-19th-century Luna Park with a behind-the-scenes look at artisan craftsmanship in a classic workshop. Hyde adds emotion to her simply told tale with Feivel’s loving creation of horse after horse, naming each for his children and their mother. An attractive and unusual look at both a Jewish immigrant’s story and a disappearing pastime and trade. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3957-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE

An inspiring story of young boy's compelling desire to read. As a boy of nine, Booker works in a salt mine from the dark of early morning to the gloom of night, hungry for a meal, but even hungrier to learn to read. Readers follow him on his quest in Malden, Virginia, where he finds inspiration in a man ``brown as me'' reading a newspaper on a street corner. An alphabet book helps, but Booker can't make the connection to words. Seeking out ``that brown face of hope'' once again, Booker gains a sense of the sounds represented by letters, and these become his deliverance. Bradby's fine first book is tautly written, with a poetic, spiritual quality in every line. The beautifully executed, luminous illustrations capture the atmosphere of an African-American community post-slavery: the drudgery of days consumed by back- breaking labor, the texture of private lives conducted by lantern- light. There is no other context or historical note about Booker T. Washington's life, leaving readers to piece together his identity. Regardless, this is an immensely satisfying, accomplished work, resonating first with longing and then with joy. (Picture book. 5- 8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09464-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

Nelson uses the old spiritual—offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it’s available in many collections—as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing “the moon and the stars,” “the wind and the clouds,” “the oceans and the seas,” and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand—demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and naïve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed. (musical arrangement to close) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-8037-2850-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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