An appealing true tale of innovation and perseverance.

Where do new ideas come from?

No one knows exactly who created the flying disc. Was it cavekids who flung round rocks? Ancient Greeks who threw the first discus? 1920s New England college students who flew empty pie plates made by a baker named Frisbie? Or was it high school football player Fred Morrison, who started tossing the lids of popcorn tins in 1937? One thing is certain: Fred Morrison became entranced with the idea of a flying disc and was convinced that it could succeed. Zippy, well-paced text teeming with consonance and energetic, engaging retro-style illustrations trace Morrison’s development of the toy. After pursuing several prototypes, bouncing back from failure, partnering with his wife, and blending the idea with the space craze of the late ’40s and ’50s, Morrison was eventually able to sell his design—called the Pluto Platter—to Wham-O, a toy company that learned of the pie plates in New England, tweaked the name, and began to distribute the Frisbee we know today. A great choice for illustrating social-emotional skills, particularly resilience, as well as steps of the STEM process, this lighthearted, entertaining selection is full of kid appeal and is sure to provide inspiration and encourage inventive thinking. Period illustrations feature an all-White cast, with people of color appearing in a contemporary park scene.

An appealing true tale of innovation and perseverance. (author's note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-58089-880-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021


An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022


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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