From the Meet the Nation series

An informative guide for future young visitors as well as armchair tourists.

An introduction to the U.S. Capitol and all the people who work there.

Well, not all—but interspersed with glimpses of the public halls and chambers, Ward lines up gallery after gallery of tiny, individualized, racially diverse people. Each of the dozens of figures, from vice president to speaker of the house, sergeant at arms to plumber, comes with a job title; for some, brief explanations of their duties are provided. A plotline involving three brown-skinned children (whose parents work at the Capitol as a mason, a U.S. senator, and a tour guide) pursuing an elusive kitty provides a pretext for the tour and is linked in the backmatter to a note about a ghostly cat long said to haunt the building. A list of additional facts at the end supplements those scattered throughout, and the author invites young viewers to take closer looks at the carefully drawn scenes to spot the cat and other features, such as the compass stone on the floor of the Crypt. Readers tantalized by the much quicker tour in Lynn Curlee’s Capital (2003) will pore over this series opener. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An informative guide for future young visitors as well as armchair tourists. (search & find, sources, glossary) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-320380-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022



An engaging and informative true story of perseverance and discovery.

Fern and Kulikov, collaborators on the picture-book biographies Barnum’s Bones (2012) and W is for Webster (2015), bring the self-taught archaeologist who discovered King Tut’s tomb to life.

Howard Carter’s obsession with mummies began when he was a boy in England and visited a nearby mansion filled with ancient Egyptian artifacts. Carter dreamed of discovering a mummy himself. At 17, he took a job copying ancient art for the Egypt Exploration Fund. Awed by the art and architecture he sketched and copied, Carter was eager to make discoveries of his own. He taught himself the methodologies of archaeology, Arabic, geology, Egyptian history, and how to read hieroglyphics. As an antiquities inspector for the Egyptian government, Carter excavated several tombs only to find they had been looted. Undaunted, Carter devised a plan to excavate every unsearched inch in the Valley of the Kings. His dogged persistence paid off in 1922 when he discovered the treasure-filled tomb of Tutankhamun. Quoting from Carter’s own account, Fern infuses her story with excitement. She describes Carter as having a “funky personality” with a “stubborn attitude and worse table manners”; Kulikov’s exaggerated illustrations energetically capture Carter’s ambition and fascination with his subject.

An engaging and informative true story of perseverance and discovery. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30305-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018



A tad rough around the edges but, visually, at least, a keeper.

A planet's-eye view of some recent visitors from Earth—one in particular.

In measured, deceptively solemn prose, the narrator (Mars itself, as eventually revealed) gets off to a shaky start, observing that the rover rolls on and on, making straight tracks that confusingly become a tangle on the next page. Things settle down thereafter: “It observes. Measures. Collects. It is always looking for water. Maybe it is thirsty.” Roy matches the tone with a set of broad, rugged, achingly remote-looking Mars-scapes that culminate in a wildly swirling dust storm followed by a huge double gatefold: “Everything is… / RED as far as the eye can see. But it is beautiful.” Curiosity itself she depicts with almost clinical precision (though its wheels look different from different angles), adding a schematic view at the end with select parts and instruments labeled. Following playful nods to other rovers along the way (Spirit and Opportunity “had a spirit of adventure and seized every opportunity to explore”), a substantial quantity of backmatter includes more information about each one—including the next one up, Mars 2020—as well as about the fourth planet itself. For audience appeal it’s hard to beat Markus Motum’s cheerfully anthropomorphic Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover (2018), but the art here, in adding a certain grandeur and mystery to the red planet, has an appeal of its own.

A tad rough around the edges but, visually, at least, a keeper. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-19833-4

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Close Quickview