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From the Who Did It First? series

A worthy candidate for your shelf.

From childhood to office to who-knows-where? Be inspired by the life of Pete Buttigieg.

For politically minded readers, Sanders and Hastings provide a concise account of the life and political career of the mayor-turned–presidential candidate. Sanders, an elementary school teacher, knows how to communicate effectively with children and delivers his text in a friendly mix of easy and more-complex sentences. While the majority of the text is written directly, the occasional folksy metaphor adds a little buoyancy. When introducing Buttigieg’s future husband, Chasten Glezman, Sanders states that “like Indiana sweet corn, a relationship began to grow.” Hastings’ digital illustrations capture the humanity of his subject and depict the highs and lows of a life in politics. Many of the illustrations appear to be inspired by photographs of Buttigieg on the campaign trail and in his daily life. While the attention is solely on Mayor Pete, the background artwork features a range of ages, ethnicities, and genders interacting and engaging with Buttigieg. There is no mention of his fraught relationship with South Bend’s African American population, and his stint with McKinsey is covered in one sentence; the book ends before his March 1 withdrawal from the 2020 presidential race. The backmatter includes a timeline, selected bibliography, information about running for president, and (most importantly) a pronunciation guide for “Buttigieg.” Young readers curious about the ongoing political race will find this to be a useful book to help them learn more about this former (and possibly future) presidential hopeful.

A worthy candidate for your shelf. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26757-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few...

Shamir offers an investigation of the foundations of freedoms in the United States via its founding documents, as well as movements and individuals who had great impacts on shaping and reshaping those institutions.

The opening pages of this picture book get off to a wobbly start with comments such as “You know that feeling you get…when you see a wide open field that you can run through without worrying about traffic or cars? That’s freedom.” But as the book progresses, Shamir slowly steadies the craft toward that wide-open field of freedom. She notes the many obvious-to-us-now exclusivities that the founding political documents embodied—that the entitled, white, male authors did not extend freedom to enslaved African-Americans, Native Americans, and women—and encourages readers to learn to exercise vigilance and foresight. The gradual inclusion of these left-behind people paints a modestly rosy picture of their circumstances today, and the text seems to give up on explaining how Native Americans continue to be left behind. Still, a vital part of what makes freedom daunting is its constant motion, and that is ably expressed. Numerous boxed tidbits give substance to the bigger political picture. Who were the abolitionists and the suffragists, what were the Montgomery bus boycott and the “Uprising of 20,000”? Faulkner’s artwork conveys settings and emotions quite well, and his drawing of Ruby Bridges is about as darling as it gets. A helpful timeline and bibliography appear as endnotes.

A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few misfires. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-54728-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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