TIGER OF THE SNOWS

TENZING NORGAY: THE BOY WHOSE DREAM WAS EVEREST

A gorgeously illustrated praise-song illuminates the yearnings and achievement of Tenzing Norgay, recently recovered from history as the Nepalese Sherpa who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, conquered Mount Everest in 1953. Burleigh’s present-tense free-verse poem strings epithets together in Homeric fashion: “Tenzing Norgay, / Sherpa, / Mountain man, / Tiger of the snows . . . ” The effect is intense, the epithets giving way to clipped phrases that kaleidoscopically evoke the effort of climbing. The white-on-black text appears in appropriately vertical panels that frame Young’s spectacular pastels, his fuzzy lines alternately mimicking blowing snow or the parka-clad forms of the climbers themselves. The book’s landscape orientation gives breadth to the paintings, allowing a long-shot view of Everest, its bulk dwarfing the tiny smudged dots of a line of climbers in the foreground. A pre-dawn image of the last morning of the ascent places readers in a close-up behind Tenzing’s goggles, looking into Hillary’s uncannily lit face. The favor is returned at the top of the world, as Tenzing’s smiling face gazes into Hillary’s camera, the Himalayas spreading out in the background. A striking, inspiring tribute. (afterword) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-689-83042-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in...

SUSAN B. ANTHONY

Susan B. Anthony worked to win women the right to vote her whole long life, but she did not live to see it done.

Wallner uses her flat decorative style and rich matte colors to depict Susan B. Anthony’s life, layering on details: Susan catching snowflakes behind her parents’ house; working in her father’s mill (briefly) and then departing school when the money ran out; writing at her desk; speaking passionately in front of small groups and rowdy crowds. It’s a little too wordy and a little less than engaging in describing a life in which Anthony traveled alone, hired her own halls, spoke tirelessly about women’s suffrage, published, created forums where women could speak freely and was arrested for registering to vote. Her life-long friendship with suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton is touched on, as are the virulent attacks against her ideas and her person. She died in 1906. Votes for women did not come to pass in the United States until 1920.

She said, “Failure is impossible,” and she was right, but unfortunately her steely determination does not come through in this book. (timeline, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1953-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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