Go-girl power and a good read.




The strong roots of a presidential hopeful.

Growing up in the 1950s meant coming of age in a “man’s world,” but not for Hillary Rodham. She was active in school, motivated, and never a fashionista. Outspoken in college and interested in social causes, she became a lawyer and married Bill Clinton. As first lady she espoused a political and social welfare agenda and went on to become one of New York’s senators and—two times now—a candidate for president of the United States. Markel, clearly an admirer, presents Clinton’s life as part and parcel of the women’s movement for empowerment, writing throughout in a very lively voice. Pham’s artwork is the real vote-getter. With a colorful palette, she presents Clinton’s personal and professional sides. Scenes of campus activism, facing unfriendly crowds, taking to the podium, and meeting with world figures fill the busy pages. Both for fun and education are two double-page tableaux. The first features men of achievement in muted tones of gray and brown while a young Hillary in Scout uniform stands arms akimbo. The second showcases great women with Clinton dressed in a trademark red pantsuit. Those who need help identifying faces in either will find keys in the back of the book.

Go-girl power and a good read. (timeline, artist’s note, selected bibliography) (Picture books/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-238122-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in...


Susan B. Anthony worked to win women the right to vote her whole long life, but she did not live to see it done.

Wallner uses her flat decorative style and rich matte colors to depict Susan B. Anthony’s life, layering on details: Susan catching snowflakes behind her parents’ house; working in her father’s mill (briefly) and then departing school when the money ran out; writing at her desk; speaking passionately in front of small groups and rowdy crowds. It’s a little too wordy and a little less than engaging in describing a life in which Anthony traveled alone, hired her own halls, spoke tirelessly about women’s suffrage, published, created forums where women could speak freely and was arrested for registering to vote. Her life-long friendship with suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton is touched on, as are the virulent attacks against her ideas and her person. She died in 1906. Votes for women did not come to pass in the United States until 1920.

She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in this book. (timeline, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1953-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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