From the People Who Shaped Our World series

Revelatory to young audiences in more ways than one.

Brilliance unrecognized.

Bombshell actress Hedy Lamarr was worshipped for her beauty and elegance, but what the public didn’t know was that she was an inventor. Interspersing descriptions of her various inventions and Lamarr’s own words, the straightforward text and appealing, appropriately retro-feeling illustrations present a wide-eyed Lamarr as a multifaceted talent and portray both her life as a Hollywood star and her inquisitiveness and intellectual creativity, from her childhood in Austria through her acting heyday to her recognition as an inventor in her 80s. In this clear, appealing tale of an unsung heroine, Wallmark does not explicitly discuss the second-class status of female scientists but instead focuses on her subject’s personality and achievements. The process of invention and inspiration are explained in a succinct and inspiring way, as is Lamarr’s working partnership with composer and inventor George Antheil; their invention is relevant and used frequently in technology today. Fifty years later, Lamar is recognized, and her response forms the book’s conclusion: “It’s about time.” Wu’s illustrations focus on the book’s white principals but include secondary characters of color, neatly shifting mode to help illustrate the technological principles under discussion. The extensive backmatter includes a timeline, bibliography, further reading—and, emblematic of the subject, a description of Lamarr’s invention and a list of her films.

Revelatory to young audiences in more ways than one. (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2691-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018


A touching ode to Indigenous activists organizing for generations of clean water.

The true story of a young Anishinaabe woman and her family’s legacy of Native water activism.

In the foreword, Anishinaabe activist Autumn Peltier explains, “In our culture, we look at water as a living being, and we’re taught to treat it with the same respect we would show another human.” With this ethic in mind, Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) and George (Anishinaabe) tell their story from the perspective of nibi (Anishinaabe for water) itself. Beginning with the Anishinaabe tradition of “looking seven generations into the future” to ensure that water is clean for everyone, nibi celebrates Indigenous land and water stewardship. But “over time, more people came” and polluted and mistreated water, and Native women “were forced to get louder” in the fight for water protection—including Grandma Josephine, Autumn Peltier’s great-aunt. A water warrior famous for trekking around the Great Lakes with a copper water pail, Grandma Josephine inspired young Autumn to also make waves. George’s rich, cartoon images reverently depict Autumn’s growth as an organizer under her ancestors’ guidance, honoring their intergenerational struggles. After the story concludes with an invitation to join Autumn in the fight for water rights, backmatter offers more details about Grandma Josephine and Autumn’s activism. Lindstrom’s latest is a moving tribute to Native women and their crucial leadership in Indigenous and water rights. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A touching ode to Indigenous activists organizing for generations of clean water. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9781250795274

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023


Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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