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A joyful tribute to the work of an important American hero.

A civil rights luminary finally gets his due.

The March on Washington is most widely remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, but the event and its impact were a dream built by many whose names are criminally undercelebrated. This vital book broadens the narrative by introducing readers to Bayard Rustin, whose contributions to its success are sometimes downplayed or obscured. From the opening line of the book, Long’s narrative lovingly presents Rustin’s history of good troublemaking, starting with his first arrest for sitting in the White section of a movie theater in his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania, to the influence of his mentor, A. Philip Randolph, who, with Rustin, came up with the idea for the 1963 March on Washington. The prose works in perfect harmony with Jackson’s warmly colored, stunning illustrations, which present Rustin as a gifted, passionate visionary whose talents helped turn the march from a dream into an unprecedented success. This work’s greatest contribution is its unflinching honesty in demonstrating the backlash Rustin faced for being gay, both from White America and his own Black colleagues within the movement, who felt that his sexuality would detract from its success. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A joyful tribute to the work of an important American hero. (author’s note, information on Long’s research) (Picture-book biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781499812060

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2023

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Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40.

From two Nobel Peace Prize winners, an invitation to look past sadness and loneliness to the joy that surrounds us.

Bobbing in the wake of 2016’s heavyweight Book of Joy (2016), this brief but buoyant address to young readers offers an earnest insight: “If you just focus on the thing that is making / you sad, then the sadness is all you see. / But if you look around, you will / see that joy is everywhere.” López expands the simply delivered proposal in fresh and lyrical ways—beginning with paired scenes of the authors as solitary children growing up in very different circumstances on (as they put it) “opposite sides of the world,” then meeting as young friends bonded by streams of rainbow bunting and going on to share their exuberantly hued joy with a group of dancers diverse in terms of age, race, culture, and locale while urging readers to do the same. Though on the whole this comes off as a bit bland (the banter and hilarity that characterized the authors’ recorded interchanges are absent here) and their advice just to look away from the sad things may seem facile in view of what too many children are inescapably faced with, still, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the world more qualified to deliver such a message than these two. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hundreds of pages of unbridled uplift boiled down to 40. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-48423-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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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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