A good way to start conversations about choosing peace.

“Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” These words are as applicable today as they were when they were spoken by a little-known historical figure who decided to make a pilgrimage for peace.

On New Year’s Day 1953, after years of training to get ready and even giving up her former identity, Peace Pilgrim began her walk from the West Coast to the East Coast. She wore “simple sneakers and a blue shirt printed with her name.” Everywhere she went, she talked to people about peace. In addition to her name, she gave up everything she owned to walk across the United States. She carried no money and “preferred to walk on mountain trails, beaches, paths in the forest—quiet places where she could talk to a few people at a time.” Her goal was to walk 25,000 miles so that “in a country that could think only of war, she would spread peace.” In straightforward, simple text, Krull relates how for Peace Pilgrim, walking was a prayer for peace, and along the way she influenced others to feel the same way. In this inspiring story, the young reader will travel with Peace Pilgrim across the county, guided by Bowler’s engaging illustrations that show the increasingly aged White woman making her way among a diversity of places and people. Calm, stable compositions reinforce the message.

A good way to start conversations about choosing peace. (biographical note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-947888-26-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flyaway Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017



With Souza’s book, this could have bookended the Obama years. But it’s more of a bookend and a paperweight.

Lucidon’s adaptation of her adult book Chasing Light (2017) for the kindergarten-to–second-grade set aims for the photographic splendor of Pete Souza’s Dream Big Dreams (2017), which celebrates what made the Obama administration both historic and extraordinary.

The author gives context for the first lady’s roles as well as the role of a White House photographer and the White House itself, including descriptions of the storied hued rooms. Within that framework, Lucidon shows Michelle Obama performing her duties inside and outside what she called “the People’s House.” However, it’s arguable that enough books exist detailing the duties and the building. What readers likely want from this book is to understand what exactly made Obama’s tenure as incredible as her husband’s. For example, the author calls Obama “Visitor-in-Chief,” but she most famously called herself “Mom-in-Chief” and validated many black mothers in a national discourse that constantly denigrates them. Considering this, it’s regrettable that the book includes relatively few photos of Obama with her family. Other missed opportunities abound, as when Lucidon fails to explain why black girls dancing under Lincoln’s portrait is significant in light of Obama’s first ladyship even as she acknowledges it is “a special moment in history.”

With Souza’s book, this could have bookended the Obama years. But it’s more of a bookend and a paperweight. (Nonfiction. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-64400-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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