Stylish, chic, and strong. Brava!

A good parent shows up—and stands up.

Jeanne Manford was an excellent mother. When her son Morty told her that he was gay, she accepted him. When Morty was later attacked while protesting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, Jeanne took action: She started by writing a letter that was published in the New York Post that declared that she loved her gay son, a groundbreaking move in the 1970s. Jeanne was also a founding member of PFLAG, which began in 1972 as POG, or Parents of Gays, before becoming Parents FLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). In 2014 the group changed its name to just PFLAG to be more inclusive. In rousing prose, Sanders describes how Jeanne helped motivate other loving parents to create a support network of allies who have diligently worked to help defend equal rights for queer individuals. This is a valuable tool for research projects, with backmatter that includes information on Jeanne’s son Morty Manford, PFLAG’s history, a robust list of sources, and an up-to-date selection of other titles about queer history. Jeanne presents as White; racially diverse individuals are represented in the illustrations. The artwork has a timeless feel, though with a hat tip to the earthy tones of the 1970s. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Stylish, chic, and strong. Brava! (discussion guide, glossary, image of a protest poster created by Jeanne) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4338-4020-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022


With powerful art from a bold new talent, this is a probing and sensitive take on a devastating chapter of U.S. history.

“How do you tell a story / that starts in Africa / and ends in horror?”

Alexander uses multiple voices to weave this poem about a teacher who takes on the difficult but necessary task of starting a classroom conversation about slavery. Between the theft of people from the African continent and the sale of people in America, from the ships that brought them and the ocean that swallowed some of them to their uncompensated work and the breakup of families, Alexander introduces objections from the implied listeners (“But you can’t sell people,” “That’s not fair”), despair from the narrating adult, encouragement from the youth, and ultimately an answer to the repeated question about how to tell this story. Rising star Coulter’s mixed-media art elevates the lyrical text with clarity and deep emotion: Using sculpted forms and paintings for the historical figures gives them a unique texture and lifelike fullness, while the charcoal drawings on yellow paper used for the present-day student-teacher interactions invite readers to step inside. Where Coulter combines the two, connecting past with present, the effect is stunning. Both young readers and adults unsure of how to talk about this painful past with children will find valuable insights.

With powerful art from a bold new talent, this is a probing and sensitive take on a devastating chapter of U.S. history. (author’s and illustrator’s notes) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-47312-5

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022



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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