A lively introduction to a whole new cast of heroines.

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A IS FOR AUDRA

BROADWAY'S LEADING LADIES FROM A TO Z

Women of the Broadway theater take center stage in this loving homage.

Past and present are represented, from Ethel Merman and Pearl Bailey to Kelli O’Hara and Audra McDonald. Several women whose great talent lit up the stage in one special play, such as Aida’s Heather Headley and Fela!’s Lilias White, are also given a place in this admiration society. They are introduced in alphabetical order, sometimes using first names, sometimes last names, and sometimes the parts they played. Steven Sondheim is given a nod for the substantive female characters he created, and Bob Fosse for his unique choreography that allowed multitalented displays. Each entry appears as a clever verse in four-line abcb form, honoring the star’s talent or highlighting a particular role for which she is most known. The verses are accompanied by Emmerich’s digital illustrations, which accurately capture the individuality and facial features of the performers as they joyously play to their audiences. Full names of the women and the titles and dates of the shows they are depicted in appear in very small white print at the bottoms of the pages. A double-page spread of thumbnail portraits includes 32 additional divas. Allman obviously loves these performers and wants young readers to get to know them, but most of these children will probably need an adult who is a Broadway aficionado to guide them and perhaps put some show music on their playlist.

A lively introduction to a whole new cast of heroines. (biographical information) (Informational picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64540-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012).

UGLY

A memoir of the first 14 years in the life of Australian Robert Hoge, born with stunted legs and a tumor in the middle of his face.

In 1972, Robert is born, the youngest of five children, with fishlike eyes on the sides of his face, a massive lump in place of his nose, and malformed legs. As baby Robert is otherwise healthy, the doctors convince his parents to approve the first of many surgeries to reduce his facial difference. One leg is also amputated, and Robert comes home to his everyday white, working-class family. There's no particular theme to the tale of Robert's next decade and a half: he experiences school and teasing, attempts to participate in sports, and is shot down by a girl. Vignette-driven choppiness and the lack of an overarching narrative would make the likeliest audience be those who seek disability stories. However, young Robert's ongoing quest to identify as "normal"—a quest that remains unchanged until a sudden turnaround on the penultimate page—risks alienating readers comfortable with their disabilities. Brief lyrical moments ("as compulsory as soggy tomato sandwiches at snack time") appeal but are overwhelmed by the dry, distant prose dominating this autobiography.

An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-425-28775-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Brisk, broad, often funny…and more than just peddling the medals.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GOLD!

AN IRREVERENT GUIDE TO THE SPORTS OF THE SUMMER GAMES

An overview of Olympic and Paralympic events, with notes on rules, history, special gear, and epic feats and fails.

After quick intros to the ancient and modern games—and a timeline of the latter that, in a spirit of optimism, runs to 2020—this handbook goes on to cover some 40-plus events or classes of event, including sport climbing and skateboarding, both putatively debuting in 2020. Each entry arranges quick bursts of fact, historical background, basic rules of play, and medal tallies of renowned winners around a large, stylized central scene showing racially and ethnically diverse competitors in vigorous action; occasionally snarky commentary adds a chuckle or two (Wrestling: “A combat sport in which two athletes in singlets roll around on a mat cuddling each other until one of them can’t move anymore”). Along with individual entries for goalball and boccia, which are exclusively Paralympic events, versions of each sport as adapted for athletes with disabilities get nods throughout. Despite a claim at the outset that it’s “all about the medals!” every entry also includes general advice about the hazards and pleasures of participating in each sport at any level of skill. Readers will come away with a good overall view of the summer Olympics, if not a complete tally—in sailing alone, as Allen notes, there are 10 to 15 races in each of eight different events—plus a look at 19 exciting sports or games that may one day be added, like break dancing or…well, bowling.

Brisk, broad, often funny…and more than just peddling the medals. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1398-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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