THE MASTER’S APPRENTICE

Marco’s family brings him from Venice to Florence, where he is to be apprenticed to the great young master, Michelangelo Buonarroti. A second apprentice, Ridolfo, sneers at him and stymies Marco’s attempts to learn what he should be about. The young Michelangelo is fierce and volatile, rejecting the scarlet paint Marco makes from a secret family recipe, but adopting the glimmering green. Marco refuses to tell the artist the secrets of the recipe, and Michelangelo rewards his loyalty to his family by taking the boy to Rome where he will face Leonardo da Vinci in a competition. Jacobson definitely aims his story at older readers, but doesn’t tell a lot about the artist or about Renaissance art. An author’s note helps to fill in some detail, perhaps leading readers to want to learn more. Jacobson and Fernandez’s images are striking—the full-face close-up of Michelangelo wearing a hat, the brim of which is covered with candles so he could paint at night, is particularly riveting. A fascinating little tidbit that could be true, but is unsourced. (author’s note) (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 11, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-88776-783-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MY HAVANA

MEMORIES OF A CUBAN BOYHOOD

Mirroring the career he eventually entered, architect Fernandez builds up, like one of Havana’s ornate structures, memories of childhood in his pre- and post-Castro hometown. A gifted illustrator, he drew constantly, easily rendering even minute architectural details. Before emigrating to New York City, young “Dino” and his family moved first to Madrid to assist relatives. Discovering a dictatorship that wasn’t much different from the one they’d left in Cuba, the family returned home and then finally moved to the United States. Havana was never far from his mind, and art brought solace. So homesick was Dino in Manhattan that he actually “built” a cardboard replica of Havana that captured the colors and warmth he remembered. This fictionalized memoir is for the contemplative reader and anyone who has felt out of place or yearned for a beloved home; it could serve as a catalyst for creative expression. Wells has chosen anecdotes wisely, and Ferguson’s illustrations are atmospheric, capturing Dino’s childlike enthusiasm and longing. An author’s note reveals how Wells came to know of and be inspired by Fernandez’s story. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4305-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

These short pieces may start young people on the search for more information about these intriguing figures.

LADIES OF LIBERTY

THE WOMEN WHO SHAPED OUR NATION

Highlighting women writers, educators, and reformers from the 18th and early 19th centuries, Roberts brings a group of women, many not so well-known, into focus and provides a new perspective on the early history of the United States in this picture-book version of her adult book of the same title (2008).

The women include Lucy Terry Prince, a persuasive speaker who created the first poem (an oral piece not written down for over 100 years after its creation) by an African-American; Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American-born saint and the founder of Catholic institutions including schools, hospitals, and orphanages; and Rebecca Gratz, a young philanthropist who started many organizations to help the Jewish community in Philadelphia. The author usually uses some quotes from primary-source materials and enlivens her text with descriptive events, such as Meriweather Lewis’ citation of Sacagawea’s “equal fortitude” with the males of the exploration party during a storm, saving many supplies when their boat capsized. The sepia-hued pen-and-ink drawings are inspired by the letters of the era, and the soft watercolor portraits of the women and the paintings that reveal more of their stories are traditional in feeling. In her introduction, the author emphasizes the importance of historical materials, such as letters, organizational records, journals, and books written at the time. Despite this, there is no bibliography or other means of sourcing quoted material.

These short pieces may start young people on the search for more information about these intriguing figures. (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-078005-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more