A lively introduction to a whole new cast of heroines.

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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Preposterous situations and farcical sound-alike sentences will elicit groans and giggles.

NO READING ALLOWED

THE WORST READ-ALOUD BOOK EVER

Homophones in versatile parallel sentences create absurd scenarios.

The pattern is simple but endlessly funny: Two sentences, each illustrated, sound the same but are differentiated by their use of homophones. On the verso of the opening spread a cartoon restaurant scene shows a diner lifting a plate of spaghetti and meatballs to a waiter who removes a dark hair from the plate of noodles: “The hair came forth.” (Both figures have brown skin.) Opposite, the scene shows a race with a tortoise at the finish line while a hare trails the tortoise, a snake, and a snail: “The hare came fourth.” The humorous line drawings feature an array of humans, animals, and monsters and provide support and context to the sentences, however bizarre they may seem. New vocabulary is constantly introduced, as is the idea that spelling and punctuation can alter meaning. Some pairings get quite sophisticated; others are rather forced. “The barred man looted the establishment. / The bard man luted the establishment” stretches the concept, paralleling barred with bard as adjectives and looted with luted as verbs. The former is an orange-jumpsuited White prisoner in a cell; the other, a brown-skinned musician strumming a lute for a racially diverse group of dancers. Poetic license may allow for luted, though the word lute is glaringly missing from the detailed glossary.

Preposterous situations and farcical sound-alike sentences will elicit groans and giggles. (Informational picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72820-659-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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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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