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A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history.

The brave work of Irena Sendler, one of the righteous gentiles of World War II, is succinctly depicted in this new picture book.

“There are two kinds of people in this world, good and bad.” As a child, wise words from her father gave Irena a guiding principle to live by and prompted the adult Sendler to find ways to save 2,500 innocent Jewish children and babies from the horror of their Holocaust fate. She worked with a network of smugglers and shelters to hide them in carpentry boxes, vegetable sacks, and laundry piles, transporting them to orphanages and the homes of willing Christian foster families, recording the children’s names so they could be found later and burying her lists in the titular jars. And when she herself was imprisoned by the Nazis, Zegota, the Polish resistance group, bribed guards to free her so she could continue her important work. Digital and traditional art in opaque dark browns and grays illustrates the sinister period and shadowy existence of these saved children. Roy’s chronological narrative concentrates on the period from 1940 to 1944 and stresses Sendler’s heroism; it also includes invented scenes and dialogue, marking it as fiction.

A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history. (afterword, author’s note, glossary, index, source notes) (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62370-425-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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An immensely popular figure in his day, the Brazilian-born Alberto Santos-Dumont invented a personal dirigible that he...

So the Wright Brothers were the first to fly? Au contraire, asserts Griffith in this rare portrait of a little-known (in this country, at least) early aviator.

An immensely popular figure in his day, the Brazilian-born Alberto Santos-Dumont invented a personal dirigible that he steered around the Eiffel Tower and drove out to run errands. Griffith’s prose isn’t always polished (“If Blériot succeeded to fly first….”), but her narrative makes her subject’s stature clear as she takes him from a luncheon with jeweler Louis Cartier, who invented the wristwatch to help his friend keep track of his time in the air, to his crowning aeronautical achievement in 1906: He beat out both the secretive Wrights and pushy rival Louis Blériot as the first to fly an aircraft that could take off and land on its own power. The author covers his career in more detail in a closing note (with photos), ascribing his eventual suicide in part to remorse that, instead of ushering in an era of peace as he had predicted, aircraft were being used in warfare. Montanari’s genteel pastel-and-chalk pictures of turn-of-the-20th-century Paris and Parisians don’t capture how much larger than life Santos-Dumont was, but they do succeed in helping Griffith bring him to American audiences.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0011-8

Page Count: -

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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In cartoon panels, the inimitable Williams offers snapshots of ancient Rome from the mythological creation of the universe to the fall of the empire.

Lightly salting her account with Latin quips (“In theobroma cacao fidemus!”), Williams pens a semiserious narrative history broken up into bite-sized bits on single-topic spreads (“The Gruesome Gauls”). She illustrates them with small cartoon scenes that depict significant incidents or scenes of daily life. Dropping side comments and the occasional Res vera (“fact”) as he goes, a dozy dormouse aptly named Dormeo Augustus squires young readers along. He leads them past the major gods, the tale of Romulus and Remus, Rome’s first seven kings, the Republic, the Caesars and a select few other emperors. There are side excursions to the Forum and a crowded bath, plus glimpses of patrician and plebeian life, slavery, gladiators and the renowned Roman army. Though a certain amount of mayhem makes its way into her account, the author tones down the worst excesses (as Dormeo puts it, the Sabine women were “treated most cruelly”—that’s one way to put it) or acknowledges them only in passing. Not a very detailed picture, but broad enough to leave younger readers with a general sense of how grand the grandeur was. (Informational picture book. 8-10)


Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6581-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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