A master picture-book artist introduces quite young readers to two astonishing heroes of the world born in Pakistan.

Iqbal Masih was only 12 in 1995 when he was shot and killed while riding his bike. He’d spent several of his young years as a bonded slave in a carpet factory before he escaped to become an international advocate for the freedom of children. Malala Yousafzai began her public advocacy for the rights of girls to education before she was in her teens. Malala, who survived being shot by the Taliban gunman who boarded her school van, continues to use her voice for justice. Winter, in impressive command of the page with her spare text and calm, rich, digitally rendered art, offers this difficult material unapologetically. As she often does, she distills the stories to their essences, conveying with very few words the fearlessness and the hope wielded by these children. Iqbal’s and Malala’s stories are presented as two separate tales, back to back. In a poignant double-page spread at the middle, edge-to-edge art shows each child atop a mountain. Iqbal's kite string has just left his hand; his kite drifts away toward Malala. Malala's kite string is still in her hand, and her kite reaches toward Iqbal. No source notes or bibliography are offered; author’s notes on each child summarize the facts.

Brave and heartrending. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2294-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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            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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A beautifully designed book that will resonate with children and the adults who wisely share it with them.


An inspirational ode to the life of the great South African leader by an award-winning author and illustrator.

Mandela’s has been a monumental life, a fact made clear on the front cover, which features an imposing, full-page portrait. The title is on the rear cover. His family gave him the Xhosa name Rolihlahla, but his schoolteacher called him Nelson. Later, he was sent to study with village elders who told him stories about his beautiful and fertile land, which was conquered by European settlers with more powerful weapons. Then came apartheid, and his protests, rallies and legal work for the cause of racial equality led to nearly 30 years of imprisonment followed at last by freedom for Mandela and for all South Africans. “The ancestors, / The people, / The world, / Celebrated.” Nelson’s writing is spare, poetic, and grounded in empathy and admiration. His oil paintings on birch plywood are muscular and powerful. Dramatic moments are captured in shifting perspectives; a whites-only beach is seen through a wide-angle lens, while faces behind bars and faces beaming in final victory are masterfully portrayed in close-up.

A beautifully designed book that will resonate with children and the adults who wisely share it with them. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-178374-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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