A lyrical picture-book introduction to the life of a feminist artistic genius.

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

THE ART & LIFE OF AMRITA SHER-GIL

From the Amazing Women series , Vol. 3

Born to a Hungarian mother and an Indian father, Amrita Sher-Gil spent her early childhood in her mother’s homeland, creating fanciful art inspired by the world around her.

When she was 8, the family moved to India, where her art matured considerably. Noticing her talent, her family insisted that she take formal lessons to hone her craft. At first, Amrita obliged, but soon she chafed against the restrictions and the structure, preferring to rely instead on her own instincts and imagination. Following her own path, Amrita created art that blended Eastern and Western traditions and that celebrated womanhood. Eventually, her family returned to Europe specifically so Amrita could study art in Paris. Although she learned a great deal, after a few years, Amrita found Europe stifling, and she returned to India. There, her practice blossomed as she pioneered new visual traditions, pushing the boundaries of the Western-centric artistic world. Unfortunately, her genius was cut short by her untimely death at the age of 28. This lyrical picture-book biography not only celebrates Sher-Gil’s rebellious brilliance, it also frankly examines the challenges and opportunities presented by having a mixed heritage. While much of Sher-Gil’s life and work involved highly adult themes, this book addresses these issues in a child-friendly manner without hiding the truth. The innovative illustrations include more than a few touches of surrealism to evoke the inner life of the artist and present at least one topless female figure, reflecting Sher-Gil’s style.

A lyrical picture-book introduction to the life of a feminist artistic genius. (biographical note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7342259-4-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penny Candy

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

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What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable...

THE BRAVE CYCLIST

THE TRUE STORY OF A HOLOCAUST HERO

An extraordinary athlete was also an extraordinary hero.

Gino Bartali grew up in Florence, Italy, loving everything about riding bicycles. After years of studying them and years of endurance training, he won the 1938 Tour de France. His triumph was muted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Mussolini followed Hitler in the establishment of anti-Jewish laws. In the middle years of the conflict, Bartali was enlisted by a cardinal of the Italian church to help Jews by becoming a document courier. His skill as a cyclist and his fame helped him elude capture until 1944. When the war ended, he kept his clandestine efforts private and went on to win another Tour de France in 1948. The author’s afterword explains why his work was unknown. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, honored him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2013. Bartali’s is a life well worth knowing and well worthy of esteem. Fedele’s illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages.

What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard. (photograph, select bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-063-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history.

A PLACE TO LAND

The backstory of a renowned address is revealed.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is one of the most famous ever given, yet with this book, Wittenstein and Pinkney give young readers new insights into both the speech and the man behind it. When Dr. King arrived in Washington, D.C., for the 1963 March on Washington, the speech was not yet finished. He turned to his fellow civil rights leaders for advice, and after hours of listening, he returned to his room to compose, fine-tuning even the day of the march. He went on to deliver a powerful speech, but as he closed, he moved away from the prepared text and into a stirring sermon. “Martin was done circling. / The lecture was over. / He was going to church, / his place to land, / and taking a congregation / of two hundred and fifty thousand / along for the ride.” Although much hard work still lay ahead, the impact of Dr. King’s dramatic words and delivery elevated that important moment in the struggle for equal rights. Wittenstein’s free-verse narrative perfectly captures the tension leading up to the speech as each adviser urged his own ideas while remaining a supportive community. Pinkney’s trademark illustrations dramatize this and the speech, adding power and further illuminating the sense of historical importance.

Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history. (author’s note, lists of advisers and speakers, bibliography, source notes) (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4331-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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