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Chilean poet Délano recalls his childhood contact with the eccentric Nobel Prize–winning poet Pablo Neruda in this unusual memoir. The son of Chilean diplomats living in Mexico during WWII, he was eight when his parents lived with Neruda and his wife Delia. “My childhood memories are filled with the things that happened during those days—my adventures with Tío Pablo,” writes Poli. A larger-than-life figure, Neruda impresses young Poli with his unusual tastes and political opinions. On one occasion, Neruda’s pet badger, El Niño, attacks Poli, and he observes Neruda eating grasshoppers, worms and ants. On a trip to Acapulco, Neruda gives Poli goggles, so he can explore underwater flora and fauna. He witnesses Neruda’s anti-fascist politics when they encounter insolent Germans in a restaurant. But Neruda also teaches Poli the meaning of fate and competition. Deceptively simple tan-and-grey illustrations evoke the wartime era. This very personal and engaging account captures the childlike fantasy and enthusiasm of a literary giant while introducing readers to a sampling of his poems. (prologue, biographical note) (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-88899-726-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2006

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Ringgold’s biography of Rosa Parks packs substantial material into a few pages, but with a light touch, and with the ring of authenticity that gives her act of weary resistance all the respect it deserves. Narrating the book is the bus that Parks took that morning 45 years ago; it recounts the signal events in Parks’s life to a young girl who boarded it to go to school. A decent amount of the material will probably be new to children, for Parks is so intimately associated with the Montgomery Bus Boycott that her work with the NAACP before the bus incident is often overlooked, as is her later role as a community activist in Detroit with Congressman John Conyers. Ringgold, through the bus, also informs readers of Parks’s youth in rural Alabama, where Klansmen and nightriders struck fear into the lives of African-Americans. These experiences make her refusal to release her seat all the more courageous, for the consequences of resistance were not gentle. All the events are depicted in emotive naive artwork that underscores their truth; Ringgold delivers Parks’s story without hyperbole, but rather as a life lived with pride, conviction, and consequence. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-81892-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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From Kroll (Lewis and Clark, 1994, etc.), a handsomely illustrated biography that introduces a fascinating historical figure and will make readers yearn for more information. The facts are covered, including Fulton’s stints as sign painter, air-gun inventor, and apprentice jeweler; Kroll states clearly which details cannot be pinned down, and the probable order of events and incidents. The text is informative and lively, although in places the transitions are abrupt, e.g., one of the only references to Fulton’s personal life—“Meanwhile, on January 7, 1808, Fulton had married Harriet Livingston. She bore him four children”—quickly reverts to details on the building of boats. Warm gold-toned paintings convey a sense of times past and complement the text. Especially appealing are the depictions of the steamships. A welcome volume. (chronology) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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