A gratifying introduction to one of the most notable pieces of religious literature. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

John Bunyan’s Christian allegory gets light-handed but soulful treatment.

This animated app relays Bunyan’s story in a somewhat breathless fashion, evidently to underscore the import of the proceedings. But it wasn’t necessary, for though this is a considerably pared-down version of the original, it retains its propulsive nature in a color-saturated, near–3-D format. Here is Christian, carrying his heavy load; no mention of sin is made, so the story can be read as a simple morality play, though the episode with the cross, staying on the narrow path and the quest for the City of Zion belie its Christian roots. Still, the overarching themes are the importance of doing the right thing, behaving with grace and learning how to navigate a world that is a minefield of trouble and temptation. All the singular characters are present: Christian’s traveling companions Faithful and Hopeful; Formalist and Hypocrisy; the Worldly Wiseman and the Evangelist; Discretion, Prudence, Piety and Charity. So too the great places of Vainglory, the Valley of Humiliation and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The narrative energy and constant happenings keep users thoroughly engaged, while the characters, as drawn for the screen, have strong personalities, and the landscapes have good visual appeal.

A gratifying introduction to one of the most notable pieces of religious literature. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Nation9

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale.

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AARON SLATER, ILLUSTRATOR

From the Questioneers series

The latest book in the Questioneer series centers an African American boy who has dyslexia.

Roberts’ characteristic cartoon illustrations open on a family of six that includes two mothers of color, children of various abilities and racial presentations, and two very amused cats. In a style more expressive and stirring than other books in the series, Beaty presents a boy overcoming insecurities related to reading comprehension. Like Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas, the boy’s namesake, the protagonist loves to draw. More than drawing, however, young Aaron wishes to write, but when he tries to read, the letters appear scrambled (effectively illustrated with a string of wobbly, often backward letters that trail across the pages). The child retreats into drawing. After an entire school year of struggle, Aaron decides to just “blend in.” At the beginning of the next school year, a writing prompt from a new teacher inspires Aaron, who spends his evening attempting to write “a story. Write something true.” The next day in class, having failed to put words on paper, Aaron finds his voice and launches into a story that shows how “beauty and kindness and loving and art / lend courage to all with a welcoming heart.” In the illustration, a tableau of colorful mythological beings embodies Aaron’s tale. The text is set in a dyslexia-friendly type. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5396-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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