Nevertheless, the visuals and rather challenging hide-and-seek component will make this a popular introduction to or...

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MY WASHINGTON, DC

From Union Station to the Lincoln Memorial, Jakobsen’s double-page spreads depict the monuments and structures in Washington, D.C., that are highest in child appeal.

Readers are invited to search each diverse, Where’s Waldo–esque crowd for two white tourists named Becky and Martin, a cat, and a total of 40 eagles and 300 stars. It is the oil paintings, however, that make this book memorable. The artist captures the grandeur of the city’s classical marble columns and ornamentation as found inside the Capitol and the Library of Congress. Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin and fireworks behind the Washington Monument are enlivened through vivid patches of pointillism; a gatefold opening offers scale regarding the obelisk. Jakobsen mentions selected items from three of the most popular museums and, in a current detail, includes a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. She wisely chooses not to portray a particular president (thus immediately dating the presentation) but employs a folk-art style to squeeze an enormous quantity of presidential pets on the White House grounds. The narrative combines a rather contrived, first-person-plural travelogue with facts and legends; the seams show. It is also highly unlikely that two kids would visit 12 sites in one day, much less alone.

Nevertheless, the visuals and rather challenging hide-and-seek component will make this a popular introduction to or souvenir from the nation’s capital. (map, facts, websites, artist’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-12612-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A crisp historical vignette.

BEN'S REVOLUTION

BENJAMIN RUSSELL AND THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL

A boy experiences the Boston Tea Party, the response to the Intolerable Acts, and the battle at Breed’s Hill in Charlestown.

Philbrick has taken his Bunker Hill (2013), pulled from its 400 pages the pivotal moments, added a 12-year-old white boy—Benjamin Russell—as the pivot, and crafted a tale of what might have happened to him during those days of unrest in Boston from 1773 to 1775 (Russell was a real person). Philbrick explains, in plainspoken but gradually accelerating language, the tea tax, the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the quartering of troops in Boston as well as the institution of a military government. Into this ferment, he introduces Benjamin Russell, where he went to school, his part-time apprenticeship at Isaiah Thomas’ newspaper, sledding down Beacon Hill, and the British officer who cleaned the cinders from the snow so the boys could sled farther and farther. It is these humanizing touches that make war its own intolerable act. Readers see Benjamin, courtesy of Minor’s misty gouache-and-watercolor tableaux, as he becomes stranded outside Boston Neck and becomes a clerk for the patriots. Significant characters are introduced, as is the geography of pre-landfilled Boston, to gain a good sense of why certain actions took place where they did. The final encounter at Breed’s Hill demonstrates how a battle can be won by retreating.

A crisp historical vignette. (maps, author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Historical fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-16674-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Useful for discussions about women’s rights and political influence.

MISS PAUL AND THE PRESIDENT

THE CREATIVE CAMPAIGN FOR WOMEN'S RIGHT TO VOTE

In time for the national elections, the story of an ardent early-20th-century fighter for women’s suffrage.

Alice Paul was deeply committed to women’s voting rights, a passion inflamed in her youth when she witnessed her father but not her mother going to the polls. Reading in the Constitution that elections were open only to men, she schooled herself about suffrage and eventually joined the burgeoning movement. She organized parades, letter-writing campaigns, and White House protests, though her efforts failed initially. One attention-getting accomplishment was to steal Woodrow Wilson’s thunder when the newly elected president arrived at a Washington, D.C., train station expecting cheering crowds. Instead, the throngs were attending—some jeering at—a nearby parade Paul had organized. Even a meeting this nervy woman initiated with the president aroused little sympathy. The arrest of Paul and other suffragists during a protest—and strong support from the president’s daughter—finally convinced Wilson to urge Congress to pass a law granting women the vote. The simple narrative ably explains and arouses respect for Paul’s ardor and achievements. The cheery, cartoony illustrations, created in watercolor, colored pencil, and other media, show a generally smiling, white Paul in her signature floppy purple hat. Endpapers feature illustrated newspaper headlines that set events in context. Readers may regret the absence of a glossary.

Useful for discussions about women’s rights and political influence. (author’s note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93720-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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