An excellent, well-researched model of its genre that will inspire children to do whatever they desire in life, no matter...

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A LADY HAS THE FLOOR

BELVA LOCKWOOD SPEAKS OUT FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS

Belva Lockwood was a teacher, a lawyer (first woman to enter the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court), a suffragist, and a presidential candidate.

This remarkable woman stands out for many reasons, including her two presidential campaigns in 1884 and 1888. Belva’s awareness of women’s issues came early. She became a teacher at 14 but found out that she was only paid half of a man’s salary. Later, her father did not want her to attend college (even though she was 24, already a widow and a mother), and the college she attended did not want her to study what were traditionally men’s subjects: “math, science and politics.” Law school proved to be an even bigger challenge. After she was finally allowed to attend, she was denied a diploma upon graduation and had to demand it from President Ulysses S. Grant (also the president of the law school). She is also known for winning a major Supreme Court case on behalf of the Cherokee nation. This is an engaging introduction to a woman unknown to many, young and old, giving some insight into her adventurous personality. In one illustration, the white woman rides a penny-farthing bicycle (in her floor-length skirt), just like the male lawyers in Washington, D.C. Her quotes are integrated into the illustrations, executed in oils with a crackle varnish, with a look reminiscent of 19th-century folk art. Soft blues and browns predominate in the naïve paintings, lending to their antique appearance.

An excellent, well-researched model of its genre that will inspire children to do whatever they desire in life, no matter what immediate restrictions exist. (author’s note, timeline, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62979-453-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the...

MARCEL MARCEAU

MASTER OF MIME

The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully.

As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that don't, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceau’s training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the “art of silence” that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readers’ frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthier’s cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceau’s Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceau’s stagecraft.

At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3961-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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Routine assignment fodder.

NELSON MANDELA

WORLD LEADER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

From the Gateway Biographies series

A standard-issue profile of the renowned activist—one of a spate launched by his death in December 2013.

Doeden opens with Mandela on trial for treason in 1964, closes with a quote from Barack Obama’s eulogy and in between covers the civil rights leader’s long career from childhood to final illness. Small news photos and boxed discussions of apartheid and Steve Biko’s brief life accompany a narrative that reads like a term paper—though, looking at the paltry lists of notes and sources at the end, an inadequately documented one. Along with plenty of similar bio-trivia, readers will find out that Mandela moved from village schools in Qunu and Mqhekezweni to Clarkebury Boarding Institute, Healdtown and the University of Fort Hare before getting a correspondence-course law degree from the University of South Africa…but not why any of that is worth knowing or what light it sheds on his character, achievements and historical significance. Yona Zeldis McDonough’s Peaceful Protest (illustrated by Malcah Zeldis, 2002) or Kadir Nelson’s terse but masterful Nelson Mandela (2013) supply clearer, more cogent tributes.

Routine assignment fodder. (further reading, websites, index) (Biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-5197-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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