An engaging tale of a boy’s spiritual awakening.

READ REVIEW

TELEGRAMAS AL CIELO/TELEGRAMS TO HEAVEN

LA INFANCIA DE MONSEÑOR ÓSCAR ARNULFO ROMERO/THE CHILDHOOD OF ARCHBISHOP ÓSCAR ARNULFO ROMERO

A bilingual picture book focuses on the childhood of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero.

In easy-to-understand English and accurate translations of Spanish, this work revisits the events that solidified a Noble Peace Prize–nominated archbishop’s faith at a young age. As a boy growing up in Ciudad Barrios in El Salvador, Óscar works at the telegraph and post office. One day, Óscar asks his father how he can send a telegram to heaven. “Pray from your heart and you can send God all the messages you want,” his father says. Óscar also worships by playing his bamboo flute and reciting poetry. He wears his mother’s apron and walks through town pretending to be a priest, blessing children and pets alike. Though his father nudges him toward carpentry, Óscar can’t be dissuaded from his desire to be a man of the cloth. The book concludes with the realization of this dream when Óscar officiates at his first Mass in his hometown. (The author’s note discloses that, years later, Romero was assassinated during Mass in 1980.) Colato Laínez’s (¡Vámonos! Let’s Go!, 2016, etc.) story is straightforward and inspiring. He injects sufficient details into the heartwarming tale without slowing the narrative’s momentum. “When he wrote poems, his eyes would shine like stars. He read them in his best melodic voice, gesturing with his arms,” the author writes. The skillful illustrations by Hunt (Zhakanaka the Word, 2006) evoke Disney animation and add visual vibrancy to the story.

An engaging tale of a boy’s spiritual awakening.

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9641203-2-7

Page Count: 31

Publisher: Luna's Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

  • Newbery Honor Book

  • National Book Award Winner

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A galloping marvel—enlightening and entertaining.

DR. SEUSS'S HORSE MUSEUM

A succinct introduction to art history via a Seussian museum of equine art.

This posthumously published text recently discovered in Ted Geisel’s studio uses horse-focused art pieces to provide historical context to artistic movements. Showing art ranging from the Lascaux cave paintings to an untitled 1994 sculpture by Deborah Butterfield, Joyner’s playful illustrations surround the curated photographs of art pieces. By using horses as the departing point in the artistic journey, Seuss and Joyner are able to introduce diverse perspectives, artifacts, and media, including Harnessed Horse from the northern Wei dynasty, a Navajo pictorial blanket titled Oh, My Beautiful Horses, and photographs by Eadweard Muybridge. Questions to readers prompt thought about the artistic concepts introduced, aided by a cast of diverse museumgoers who demonstrate the art terms in action. Joyner further engages readers by illustrating both general cultural and Seussian references. Glimpses of the Cat in the Hat are seen throughout the book; he poses as a silent observer, genially guarding Seuss’ legacy. For art enthusiasts, some illustrations become an inside joke, as references to artists such as Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Marina Abramovic, and René Magritte make appearances. Thorough backmatter contains notes on each art piece referenced along with a study of the manuscript’s history and Seuss’ artistic style. Absent, probably unsurprisingly, is any acknowledgment of the Cat’s antecedents in minstrelsy and Seuss’ other racist work, but prominent among the museumgoers are black- and Asian-presenting characters as well as a girl wearing hijab and a child who uses a wheelchair.

A galloping marvel—enlightening and entertaining. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55912-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more