SHE SANG PROMISE

THE STORY OF BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, SEMINOLE TRIBAL LEADER

Short poetic stanzas join jewel-toned illustrations to sing the satisfying story of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper. Deep in the Everglades in the 1920s, Seminole tribal leaders threatened to throw this young daughter and granddaughter of medicine women into the swamp for the “bad spirits” of her white father. Her family fled to the Dania Reservation, where she grew up and acquired the Mission faith she combined with traditional beliefs. Seeking an education, she left Florida and became a nurse, but she returned to serve her people. She returned truants to school and helped set up a tribal council and a newspaper. Her election to tribal leadership in 1967 was a remarkable achievement in her male-dominated culture, and she continues to sing stories of her people today. The design of this attractive, chronological biography reflects the subject. A column of text on a natural fabric background accompanies each of Desimini’s paintings; their rounded shapes and glowing colors reveal interesting details of Seminole life. A glossary serves as the index to pictures and text. (afterword from her son, map, chronology, further facts, author’s note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4263-0592-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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SAINT VALENTINE

The most interesting feature of this retelling of a story about a saint martyred in A.D. 270 is the art, a meticulous re- creation of the medium of its subject's period. Using thousands of tiny, rectangular pieces resembling tiles, Sabuda replicates the effect of Roman mosaics. His simple designs and harmonious, gently muted colors are pleasing, and he achieves surprising subtleties of expression, considering the intractability of the medium. Actually, the illustrations work even better from a slight distance (as with a group), so that the demarcations between the tiny pieces are less predominant. The technique, which tends to congeal the action, makes relatively undramatic illustrations; still, it's a fascinating experiment that brings the ancient world to life by paying tribute to its art rather than by picturing it in a modern style. The straightforward narrative centers on Valentine as a physician whose ointment restores the sight of a jailer's blind daughter, long the saint's friend. It's implied that the long-awaited cure takes place at the moment of his offstage death; the story ends with the joy of the child's renewed vision. An unusual and attractive rendition. Historical note. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-689-31762-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

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