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An inspiring glimpse into the talent and drive of a woman who marched to the beat of a different drummer.

A profile of groundbreaking 19th-century French animalier Rosa Bonheur.

Sanderson, herself a realistic painter whose initial artistic inspiration was horses, crafts an engaging biography whose dramatic oil compositions and engrossing narrative will pull in other equine aficionados. Peppering the text with horse imagery (Rosa “galloped into the world” and was sent “trotting back home” for being naughty at boarding school), Sanderson describes how Bonheur (1822-1899) was introduced to art as a child by her artist father who took her under his tutelage. At school, she “covered her papers with animal sketches,” and as a teenager, she trained at the Louvre; Bonheur went on to study horse anatomy at a medical school and horse musculature at a slaughterhouse. Sanderson explains the period’s limitations on women’s ambitions and its expectations regarding marriage—something headstrong Bonheur had “no interest in.” Thus, it is impressive that her paintings were shown at the Paris Salon annual exhibition, where she won a gold medal. It was her masterpiece, The Horse Fair, however—at 8 feet tall by 16 ½ feet wide—that garnered international attention and the most critical praise. Sanderson details the various steps in executing a work of this scale; the illustrations depict the painting studies, red ochre outlines and layering, and Bonheur on a ladder adding personality to each horse. Sanderson states that Bonheur was aided by her “companion” Nathalie. The extensive backmatter includes information about Bonheur’s lesbian identity.

An inspiring glimpse into the talent and drive of a woman who marched to the beat of a different drummer. (author’s note, bibliography, resources, sources, image credits) (Picture-book biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62371-848-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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From the What if You Had . . .? series

Another playful imagination-stretcher.

Markle invites children to picture themselves living in the homes of 11 wild animals.

As in previous entries in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations of a diverse cast of young people fancifully imitating wild creatures are paired with close-up photos of each animal in a like natural setting. The left side of one spread includes a photo of a black bear nestling in a cozy winter den, while the right side features an image of a human one cuddled up with a bear. On another spread, opposite a photo of honeybees tending to newly hatched offspring, a human “larva” lounges at ease in a honeycomb cell, game controller in hand, as insect attendants dish up goodies. A child with an eye patch reclines on an orb weaver spider’s web, while another wearing a head scarf constructs a castle in a subterranean chamber with help from mound-building termites. Markle adds simple remarks about each type of den, nest, or burrow and basic facts about its typical residents, then closes with a reassuring reminder to readers that they don’t have to live as animals do, because they will “always live where people live.” A select gallery of traditional homes, from igloo and yurt to mudhif, follows a final view of the young cast waving from a variety of differently styled windows.

Another playful imagination-stretcher. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781339049052

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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