A useful title for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.

THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

A boy visits a special place while on vacation.

Jack and his parents fly to a city where cherry blossoms bloom. Views from the plane and a glimpse of the Washington Monument from the airport offer clues to their destination. The city and sights are unnamed in the simple, easy-to-read text but recognizable from the pleasant, serviceable illustrations. On their trip to the nation’s capital, the family visits the Air and Space Museum, the Spy Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the zoo, and Capitol Hill (where Jack shakes hands with “somebody important from back home”). On the last day of the trip, they visit Arlington National Cemetery, which Jack at first finds “boring,” but his attention is captured by the 21-step march of the soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Brallier nicely captures the solemn poignancy of this monument to soldiers who fell in battle, far from home, unidentified. The family then visits the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial. Beginning the trip home, Jack spots an Army Ranger in uniform in the waiting area. He runs to offer his thanks, and “the unknown soldier”—a jarring phrase, given that this soldier is alive and has a name—stands to respond. Jack and his father present as Asian, his mother is light-skinned, and the Army Ranger presents as Black. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A useful title for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. (more information on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62354-159-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

ROSA PARKS

From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This mutual homage mutes the thrill of competition, yet there's much to love in this historic tale of female derring-do.

NELLIE VS. ELIZABETH

TWO DAREDEVIL JOURNALISTS' BREAKNECK RACE AROUND THE WORLD

The real-life story of two intrepid female journalists and their competition to circumnavigate the globe.

In 1889, daredevil American newswoman Nellie Bly was keen to improve on the journey described in Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). Though skeptical at first—“women are too delicate for adventures”—her editors eventually gave her the go-ahead. Little did she know that rival reporter Elizabeth Bisland was attempting the same record-breaking trip from the opposite coast of the USA. Hannigan recounts the hair-raising, breakneck race, including the challenges each woman faced—seasickness, late ships, surly sailors, and more. Direct quotes attributed to Bly, Bisland, and various newspapers that covered the escapade pepper the text, some raising more questions than they answer. Did Elizabeth really receive false information that her ship had refused to wait for her? On this point the book is mum. Although the narrative attempts to laud both women equally, the description of Bly as a “stunt journalist” who was “willing to go to outrageous extremes to catch a reader’s attention” minimizes her important work. The acrylic ink and colored pencil illustrations are colorful with fine details, if flat; they sometimes strain the reader’s credulity, as in a spread showing the two women joining hands and celebrating their wins together. Backmatter includes a marvelous “Timeline of Women Investigative Journalists” that is worthy of an entire book in and of itself.

This mutual homage mutes the thrill of competition, yet there's much to love in this historic tale of female derring-do. (author's note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-68437-377-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more