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Dreams Taking Flight

by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Amy June Bates

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7129-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

When young Hillary Rodham’s hopes of joining NASA as an astronaut were dashed because she was a girl, she didn’t stop dreaming or doing, all the way (almost) to the top. Following Clinton from girlhood to the presidential campaign trail, the narrative hits on many of the high points and as few of the low points as possible along the way (as First Lady, “she tried to cover a lot of ground, and not everything she did was a success”). As seen in Bates’s watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations, she goes from a perky, ponytailed girl to the somewhat careworn but determined figure readers will recognize, each spread complemented by a bromide (e.g., “Find heroes to lift you up”)—not, apparently, Clinton’s own. Timed for release with the Democratic National Convention, this picture-book hagiography nevertheless has a dated feel to it already, although the conclusion hedges its historical bets: “Not afraid to fly, daring to compete, she decided to run for the highest office in the land. Was the land ready? No matter—she was propelling her way into history.” (author’s notes, sources) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)