A sweet yet troubling account of sisterhood and the power of art.



Scott reminisces about her twin sister, an artist with Down syndrome.

Growing up, Joyce and Judy are “each other’s world.” When Joyce starts kindergarten, Judy is diagnosed with Down syndrome and a weak heart. Doctors say she won’t get better, but Joyce knows her sister is “perfect just the way she is.” To help her learn to speak, her parents send Judy to a special school, and Joyce’s world is “replaced with the colors of gone.” Judy lives in the grim institution until adulthood. Now her sister’s guardian, Scott is stunned to discover that she has been deaf since childhood. Appalled she’s been denied education, Scott enrolls her twin at an Oakland art studio for adults with disabilities. There, Judy Scott finds a passion: creating sculptures from fibers and found objects. For years, Judy Scott expresses herself through art…until, the day after she makes a small, black piece unlike her usual colorful work and gives her sister her magazine collection, she dies of heart failure in author Scott’s arms. It’s bittersweet that she’s “celebrated as a great artist” after her death. Co-written with Spangler and Sweet, Scott’s prose poetically conveys the sisters’ strong bond; Sweet’s nuanced, eye-catching illustrations mimic Judy Scott’s eclectic artwork with vivid colors and bristling collages while depicting the sisters’ love with soft hues. However, the focus, perhaps by necessity, is on the author’s relationship with and feelings about her sister, throwing Judy Scott’s isolated upbringing into sharp relief and rendering her story as disquieting as it is triumphant. The Scott sisters present White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet yet troubling account of sisterhood and the power of art. (timeline, photos, author's note, illustrator's note, sources, resources) (Picture book/biography. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-64811-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Intended as an amusing parody, this groans with outdated irrelevance and immaturity.


While spending the day with Grandpa, young Goldie offers tips on the care and keeping of grandparents.

Though “loyal and loving,” Goldie’s grandfather proves to be quite a character. At Grandparents Day at school, his loud greeting and incessant flatulence are embarrassing, but Goldie is confident that he—and all grandparents—can be handled with the “right care and treatment.” The young narrator notes that playtime should involve the imagination rather than technology—“and NO video games. It’s just too much for them.” Goldie observes that grandparents “live on a diet of all the things your parents tell them are bad for them” but finds that Grandpa’s favorite fast-food restaurant does make for a great meal out. The narrator advises that it’s important for grandparents to get plenty of exercise; Grandpa’s favorite moves include “the Bump, the Hustle, and the Funky Chicken.” The first-person instruction and the artwork—drawn in a childlike scrawl—portray this grandfather in a funny, though unflattering, stereotypical light as he pulls quarters from Goldie’s ears, burps on command, and invites Goldie to pull his finger. Goldie’s grandfather seems out of touch with today’s more tech-savvy and health-oriented older people who are eager to participate with their grandchildren in contemporary activities. Though some grandparent readers may chuckle, kids may wonder how this mirrors their own relationships. Goldie and Grandpa are light-skinned; Goldie’s classmates are diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Intended as an amusing parody, this groans with outdated irrelevance and immaturity. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-24932-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.


After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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