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JUST JERRY

HOW DRAWING SHAPED MY LIFE

A moving work from a legend of children’s literature and a testament to his legacy of visual storytelling.

The late Caldecott medalist Pinkney shares the childhood experiences that put him on the path to greatness.

Young Jerry grew up on a nurturing, all-Black block in Philadelphia in the 1940s and ’50s; his large family and circle of friends were crucial to his development as an artist, especially as he struggled with dyslexia. Jerry’s grandfather worked at a pencil factory, so Jerry was always able to draw whatever caught his imagination. His father took him along on home-repair jobs, showing Jerry the value of hard work. School was difficult, but his teacher Mrs. Miller helped him find ways to incorporate his drawing into his schoolwork. Jerry and his friends faced de facto segregation, and Jerry longed for experiences that were out of reach. A part-time job selling newspapers led to a chance meeting with cartoonist John Liney, and a visit to his studio offered a glimpse of what it would be like to be a working artist. This memoir, which was largely completed at the time of Pinkney’s death in 2021, provides important insight into one of children’s literature’s most prolific illustrators. Intimate and conversational in tone, the narrative is warm and inviting. The importance of family and community and Pinkney’s determination are strong themes throughout. The powerful text is accompanied by sketches that enhance the tale (an editor’s note states that Pinkney had planned to flesh those sketches out into elaborate drawings).

A moving work from a legend of children’s literature and a testament to his legacy of visual storytelling. (timeline) (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-38385-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

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GUTS

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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THE GIRL'S BODY BOOK

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage.

A growing-up guide for preteen girls.

This puberty-navigation guide covers girls’ bodily changes, body care, health, relationships with family and friends, staying safe, and handling stress. In many cases the author, a registered nurse, has covered the same material as she did in various editions of this title as well as The Boy’s Body Book. This girls’ book skips the topics of sleep and performance-enhancement drugs in favor of a section on eating disorders. As in the boys’ book, controversial subjects are addressed generally and conservatively if at all. She includes a rough diagram of female reproductive organs and tells her young readers about menstruation and visiting a gynecologist but not how babies are made. She talks about having boys as friends, saying “Don’t put pressure on yourself to call any of your close friendships ‘dating.’ ” The strength of this title is its emphasis on good grooming, healthy living habits, and positive relationships. Added for this fourth edition is new material on interacting with adults, personal empowerment, body language, reputations, and “learning disabilities,” helpful information for the growing segment of the preteen population identified with cognitive and social learning differences. Tallardy’s cartoon illustrations show girls and adults of varying ethnicities and provide a cheerful accompaniment.

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60433-714-3

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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