TITANICAT

Young Jim Mulholland’s very excited to be a cabin boy on the new ship Titanic. It’s not only the ship’s maiden voyage, but his as well. He deems it good luck when a tortoiseshell cat greets him at the ship’s berth. She turns out to be the ship’s cat, and Jim is put in charge of her. He discovers she’s just had a litter onboard, and Jim has his hands full with both cats and chores. In Southampton, Jim sees the cat taking her kittens ashore as the passengers are boarding. The cat isn’t fast enough to get all her kittens, so Jim helps and finds himself stranded on shore as the ship leaves. When news of the disaster breaks, Jim thanks the mother cat for sharing her luck with him. Based on stories that came to light only recently, Crisp’s tale is told well enough. Papp’s photorealistic paintings are beautiful but overdramatic, and the cats are inconsistently colored. Still, this will please young Titanicophiles and some kitten fans. (bibliography, author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58536-355-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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