A poignant and inspiring tale of a groundbreaking sports figure whose name and story should be well-known.

READ REVIEW

CHARLIE TAKES HIS SHOT

HOW CHARLIE SIFFORD BROKE THE COLOR BARRIER IN GOLF

A biography of Charlie Sifford, the African-American man who integrated professional golf.

As a child, Charlie had to practice golf at night because black people weren’t allowed to play on private courses in 1930s Jim Crow North Carolina. So Charlie became a caddie and competed in—and won—tournaments for black players. Charlie wanted to play in the PGA, but the organization had a “Caucasians-only” rule. Joven’s art realistically portrays Charlie getting older as he moves the action forward, often using multiple illustrations per page. Light layers of color overlap, angular shapes giving the story a suitably retro look. Learning about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American in Major League Baseball, leads Charlie to hope that he can integrate golf. When Charlie meets Jackie, Jackie is honest: “It’s going to be awfully tough, Charlie.” (The dialogue throughout is unsourced.) In her straightforward, quietly passionate narrative, Churnin records how Charlie keeps playing but can’t change the racist PGA rules. Finally, a Jewish lawyer, Stanley Mosk, successfully gets the rule rescinded, and Charlie becomes the first African-American PGA player. Churnin emphasizes that that isn’t the end of the discrimination and abuse Charlie suffers—but finally, one day, he hears a new sound: encouragement from the gallery instead of boos.

A poignant and inspiring tale of a groundbreaking sports figure whose name and story should be well-known. (author’s note, timeline) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1128-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Blandly laudatory.

I AM WALT DISNEY

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The iconic animator introduces young readers to each “happy place” in his life.

The tally begins with his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri, and climaxes with Disneyland (carefully designed to be “the happiest place on Earth”), but the account really centers on finding his true happy place, not on a map but in drawing. In sketching out his early flubs and later rocket to the top, the fictive narrator gives Ub Iwerks and other Disney studio workers a nod (leaving his labor disputes with them unmentioned) and squeezes in quick references to his animated films, from Steamboat Willie to Winnie the Pooh (sans Fantasia and Song of the South). Eliopoulos incorporates stills from the films into his cartoon illustrations and, characteristically for this series, depicts Disney as a caricature, trademark mustache in place on outsized head even in childhood years and child sized even as an adult. Human figures default to white, with occasional people of color in crowd scenes and (ahistorically) in the animation studio. One unidentified animator builds up the role-modeling with an observation that Walt and Mickey were really the same (“Both fearless; both resourceful”). An assertion toward the end—“So when do you stop being a child? When you stop dreaming”—muddles the overall follow-your-bliss message. A timeline to the EPCOT Center’s 1982 opening offers photos of the man with select associates, rodent and otherwise. An additional series entry, I Am Marie Curie, publishes simultaneously, featuring a gowned, toddler-sized version of the groundbreaking physicist accepting her two Nobel prizes.

Blandly laudatory. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2875-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

Timely and stirring.

ENOUGH!

20 PROTESTERS WHO CHANGED AMERICA

A shoutout to heroes of nonviolent protest, from Sam Adams to the Parkland students.

Kicking off a proud tradition, “Samuel threw a tea party.” In the same vein, “Harriet led the way,” “Susan cast her vote,” “Rosa kept her seat,” “Ruby went to school,” and “Martin had a dream.” But Easton adds both newer and less-prominent names to the familiar roster: “Tommie and John raised their fists” (at the 1968 Summer Olympics, also depicted on the cover), for instance; “John and Yoko stayed in bed”; “Gilbert sewed a rainbow” (for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade in 1978); “Jazz wore a dress”; and “America [Ferrera] said, ‘Time’s up.’ ” Viewed from low or elevated angles that give them a monumental look, the grave, determined faces of the chosen subjects shine with lapidary dignity in Chen’s painted, close-up portraits. Variations in features and skin tone are rather subtle, but in general both the main lineup and groups of onlookers are visibly diverse. The closing notes are particularly valuable—not only filling in the context and circumstances of each act of protest (and the full names of the protesters), but laying out its personal consequences: Rosa Parks and her husband lost their jobs, as did Ruby Bridges’ first-grade teacher, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos were banned for life from Olympic competition. Pull quotes in both the art and the endnotes add further insight and inspiration.

Timely and stirring. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984831-97-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more