A succinct, edifying read, but don’t buy it for the pictures.

LONG, TALL LINCOLN

Abraham Lincoln’s ascent to the presidency is recounted in a fluid, easy-to-read biography for early readers.

Simple, direct sentences stress Lincoln’s humble upbringing, his honesty, and his devotion to acting with moral conviction. “Lincoln didn’t seem like a man who would be president one day. But he studied hard and became a lawyer. He cared about people and about justice.” Slavery and Lincoln’s signature achievement of emancipation are explained in broad yet defined, understandable analogies. “At that time, in the South, the law let white people own black people, just as they owned a house or a horse.” Readers are clearly given the president’s perspective through some documented memorable quotes from his own letters. “Lincoln did not like slavery. ‘If slavery is not wrong,’ he wrote to a friend ‘nothing is wrong.’ ” (The text does not clarify that this letter was written in 1865 and not before he ascended to the presidency, as implied by the book.) As the war goes on and Lincoln makes his decision to free the slaves in the “Southern states”—“a bold move”—Lincoln’s own words describe his thinking: “ ‘If my name ever goes into history,’ Lincoln said, ‘it will be for this act.’ ” A very basic timeline, which mentions the assassination unaddressed in the text, is followed by backmatter providing photographs, slightly more detailed historical information, and legacy. It’s a pity that the text is accompanied by unremarkable, rudimentary opaque paintings.

A succinct, edifying read, but don’t buy it for the pictures. (Informational early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-243256-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience.

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

GOLDA MEIR'S FIRST CRUSADE

A group of school friends provides Golda Meir with her first leadership test.

Golda is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Milwaukee when she becomes active in the American Young Sisters Society. As their president, Golda tasks them to raise money to buy new textbooks for classmates. The neighborhood is very poor, and pennies are precious to the shoppers who patronize her parents’ store, so it’s no easy feat. The young girl is highly motivated and struggles to write a speech for a fundraiser, finally deciding to “speak from my heart.” The event is a success, and Golda immediately decides to found a new group and “be [its] president!” In her first book for children, Krasner presents a pleasantly fictionalized story about a future world leader. Garrity-Riley’s digitally manipulated gouache-and-collage illustrations are a nice accompaniment featuring wallpaper backgrounds and fashionable period clothing. However the overall effect, with so many washed-out browns and blues, is drab. Pale circles of cheek blush on the characters bring to mind pages from a shopping catalog. Stopping short of Meir’s Zionist passion and move to Palestine, the book forces readers to consult the biographical note to understand why Goldie is important beyond the story.

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience. (photographs, places to visit, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1200-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable...

WHEN THE SLAVE ESPERANÇA GARCIA WROTE A LETTER

By way of tribute, two admirers spin a tale around a truly rare document: a petition sent by an 18th-century enslaved woman to a Brazilian governor.

The letter, a brief one reporting a new master’s ill treatment and begging for permission to rejoin her husband and have her children baptized, was discovered only in 1979 and is presented here in a modernized translation. Around it Rosa embroiders a rudimentary storyline that feels oddly disconnected. She begins with Garcia herself explaining that her previous, Jesuit owners had taught her to read and write before she was separated from her husband, then switches to the third person at an arbitrary point, then just as abruptly shifts from narrative to exposition at the end. Also, there being no record of a reply to the letter, Rosa opts just to leave Garcia waiting for one, closing with the hyperbolic claim that her “voice was a forceful cry for liberation.” Hees’ richly hued illustrations show Afro-Brazilian influences in stylized background settings made of patterned bands and very dark-skinned figures with strong, composed features. A historical note includes a map of the colonial locale but no reproduction of the actual letter.

Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable woman!” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55498-729-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more