A welcome illumination of a historically under-appreciated art form.

SHOW ME A STORY!

WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER: CONVERSATIONS WITH 21 OF THE WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED ILLUSTRATORS

Selecting 11 illustrators popular in the past decade, among them Chris Raschka, Lois Ehlert and Mo Willems, and adding postscripts to 10 he had interviewed for Ways of Telling (2002), Marcus mines the A-list, producing fascinating insights into the lives of picture-book creators and the format itself.

Organized alphabetically, each interview is preceded by a photograph and brief introduction. In contrast to the representative reproductions in the earlier title, the accompanying color insert presents process. Studies, sketches and scenes that didn’t make it are accompanied by instructive captions. The historian’s command of publishing trends, personalities, formal elements and psychology leads to customized questions, although common themes emerge. These include the power of teachers to enable artists to recognize their potential or doubt it, the role of encouraging relatives, the ways sensitive people grapple with family issues and economic or political realities and the impact of Charles Schulz and Maurice Sendak. The inclusion of Quentin Blake, Yumi Heo, Peter Sís, and Lisbeth Zwerger adds an international perspective. It is curious, though, that Marcus recycles so much from his previous book; except for Sendak’s seven-page commentary on Bumble-Ardy (2011), not much value is added. Why not a full-fledged second volume? That said, these discussions of the relationship between artists’ lives and the stories they produce, preferences regarding medium or style, and the unique confluences of circumstance, market and passion are indubitably worthwhile.

A welcome illumination of a historically under-appreciated art form. (bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3506-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future.

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

An adaptation for teens of the adult title A Queer History of the United States (2011).

Divided into thematic sections, the text filters LGBTQIA+ history through key figures in each era from the 1500s to the present. Alongside watershed moments like the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the text brings to light less well-known people, places, and events: the 1625 free love colony of Merrymount, transgender Civil War hero Albert D.J. Cashier, and the 1951 founding of the Mattachine Society, to name a few. Throughout, the author and adapter take care to use accurate pronouns and avoid imposing contemporary terminology onto historical figures. In some cases, they quote primary sources to speculate about same-sex relationships while also reminding readers of past cultural differences in expressing strong affection between friends. Black-and-white illustrations or photos augment each chapter. Though it lacks the teen appeal and personable, conversational style of Sarah Prager’s Queer, There, and Everywhere (2017), this textbook-level survey contains a surprising amount of depth. However, the mention of transgender movements and activism—in particular, contemporary issues—runs on the slim side. Whereas chapters are devoted to over 30 ethnically diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer figures, some trans pioneers such as Christine Jorgensen and Holly Woodlawn are reduced to short sidebars.

Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future. (glossary, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-5612-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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