A lively look at the ingenuity of women suffragists near the end of their long road to the vote.



Rockliff introduces Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, whose five-month, 10,000-mile crusade for women’s voting rights drew crowds and made colorful newspaper copy in 1916.

Toting a kitten, a “teeny-tiny typewriter” and “an itsy-bitsy sewing machine”—the better to demonstrate, during speeches, women’s many skills—the women depart New York City in a yellow Saxon runabout. They journey south, then west, across Texas to California, returning through northern border states. (A simple double-page map charts the route.) The spry narrative focuses mainly on the outward-bound segments, as Nell and Alice weather an East Coast blizzard, address curious crowds, join a circus parade in Georgia, and attend genteel socials. Rockliff knits from a skein of exciting cross-country events, all drawn from contemporary newspaper accounts. “They dodged bullets at the Mexican border… / drove on through the desert… / and got lost for days… / till, finally, they reached… // CALIFORNIA!” Hooper’s sunny full-page and spot pictures combine pencil and printmaking in digital layers that evoke the off-register color separations of mid-20th-century children’s illustrations. Most faces, features penciled in, are left as white as the background paper, with occasional pink or tan accents for cheeks and noses. Diversity is expressed in crowd scenes and on a New Orleans veranda, with a few faces tinted tan or brown.

A lively look at the ingenuity of women suffragists near the end of their long road to the vote. (historical note, source note, bibliography of children’s titles) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7893-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance.


With the words of Massachusetts colonial rebels ringing in her ears, a slave determines to win her freedom.

In 1780, Mumbet heard the words of the new Massachusetts constitution, including its declaration of freedom and equality. With the help of a young lawyer, she went to court and the following year, won her freedom, becoming Elizabeth Freeman. Slavery was declared illegal and subsequently outlawed in the state. Woelfle writes with fervor as she describes Mumbet’s life in the household of John Ashley, a rich landowner and businessman who hosted protest meetings against British taxation. His wife was abrasive and abusive, striking out with a coal shovel at a young girl, possibly Mumbet’s daughter. Mumbet deflected the blow and regarded the wound as “her badge of bravery.” Ironically, the lawyer who took her case, Theodore Sedgwick, had attended John Ashley’s meetings. Delinois’ full-bleed paintings are heroic in scale, richly textured and vibrant. Typography becomes part of the page design as the font increases when the text mentions freedom. Another slave in the Ashley household was named in the court case, but Woelfle, keeping her young audience in mind, keeps it simple, wisely focusing on Mumbet.

A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance. (author’s note, selected bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6589-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.


This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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