Growing up in Warsaw with Mr. Singer offers more than a day of pleasure to families who joined him In My Father's Court, from which fourteen of these nineteen episodes are adapted. But the elevenish contemporary of "Itchele" who lacks the East European frame of reference that these autobiographical sketches demand may have trouble relating to the bittersweetness of his Hasidic upbringing as the lonely son of the rabbi of Krochmalna Street; to his mysterious joy-fear on contemplating the Cabala; to the esoteric character of his family's Jewish orthodoxy; to the distance between Jew and Gentile so absolute and so very enduring. . . . Mr. Singer's words as Grandfather-storyteller are best read aloud and interpreted by a grandfather who shares his memories, who can communicate Singer's hindsights with the authority and spirit of his insights, who can mediate between Singer's remoteness to the child and his greatness.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0374416966

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1969

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Ephemeral—unlike the art here (some of it, at least) and those fondly remembered little books.


Chicken soup for fans of Golden Books, from the line’s editorial director.

Reasoning that hard times have come to America (“The chickens have come home to roost, and their names are Debt, Depression, and Diabetes”), Muldrow offers this book as palliative. She gathers single illustrations from 61 Little Golden Books and adds pithy captions as anodynes, such as “Don’t panic…” (beneath Tibor Gergely’s 1948 image of a dismayed child holding detached braids) or “Have some pancakes” (Richard Scarry, 1949). Though some of her advice has a modern inflection (“Don’t forget your antioxidants!”), the pictures all come from titles published between 1942 and 1964 and so, despite the great diversity of artistic styles, have a quaint period look. Not to mention quaint period values, from views of apron-wearing housewives and pipe-smoking men (or bears) to, with but two exceptions, an all-white cast of humans. Furthermore, despite the title’s implication, the exhortations don’t always reflect the original story’s lesson or theme; rather than “Make a budget—and stick to it!” the lad in Miriam Young’s 5 Pennies To Spend (illustrated by Corinne Malvern, 1955) actually used his hoard to help others in need.

Ephemeral—unlike the art here (some of it, at least) and those fondly remembered little books. (Picture book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97761-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Golden Books/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This small but firm step on an artist’s journey is both inspiration to his fellows and an informative window into a...


In this continuation of Say’s graphic memoir, Drawing from Memory (2011), he travels to the United States and receives a decidedly mixed welcome.

Arriving in southern California in 1953, 15-year-old Allen first settles in a military academy but is soon asked to leave because his sponsor comes to believe that he won’t be (as Say’s own openly hostile father puts it) “a wholesome American.” Never quite fitting in, he goes on to acquire an apartment and a job, take art classes, and, after high school graduation, set off in relief for San Francisco. “I will never,” he concludes emphatically, “come back.” Though his personal voice, his gratitude for the support he does receive, and occasional flashes of rueful humor are evident enough, overall his sense of isolation from people and events around him colors his entire experience. The many quick sketches, caricatures, practice pieces, and even the relatively finished scenes of significant incidents or encounters with which his account is interspersed, though, add life and feeling in abundance to the often spare narrative. Moreover, all along the way, his determination to become a cartoonist never fades, and at low moments Kyusuke, the free-spirited alter ego created for him back in Japan by his mentor and sensei, Noro Shinpei, pops into view to remind him that it’s all an adventure.

This small but firm step on an artist’s journey is both inspiration to his fellows and an informative window into a particular slice of the nation’s history. (afterword, with photos) (Graphic memoir. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-43776-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet