A beautiful account of a young woman who knew that all she needed to reach her dream was courage and a chance to try.

THE FLYING GIRL

HOW AIDA DE ACOSTA LEARNED TO SOAR

National Young People’s Poet Laureate Engle brings to children the story of Aída de Acosta, who in 1903 became the first woman to fly a motorized aircraft.

In her trademark free-verse style, Engle tells the story of Aída, a white Hispanic teenager from New Jersey who, on a trip to Paris, is dazzled by the sight of a balloon gliding by with an air boat dangling beneath and a man inside it. Determined to fly too, Aída approaches the inventor of the airship: Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian inventor known in his country as the father of aviation, achieving flight six months before the Wright brothers. Aída learns to fly, and fly she does, much to the consternation of her contemporaries: “girls, they bellowed, should never / be taught how to fly / huge machines.” Palacios’ exuberant mixed-media artwork is vibrant and colorful, in tune with Aída. Readers will chuckle at her portrayal of an aerial dinner with the waiters on stilts. In a closing note the author gives additional detail, including Aída’s promise to her father that she would keep her daring deed a secret and, later in life, after losing an eye to glaucoma, her becoming the director of the first eye bank in America.

A beautiful account of a young woman who knew that all she needed to reach her dream was courage and a chance to try. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4502-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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