An engaging volume that will encourage readers to think outside the lines.

JUST LIKE RUBE GOLDBERG

THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE MAN BEHIND THE MACHINES

Rube Goldberg was a famous inventor who didn’t invent anything.

He was a shy and quiet kid who loved to draw and dreamed of becoming a great cartoonist. But his German-immigrant father was horrified: Artists were no better than beggars, so Rube went to Berkeley, studied engineering, and got a job with San Francisco’s Department of Water and Sewers. He hated it, quit, and followed his dream of becoming a cartoonist for a newspaper, landing a job at the New York Evening Mail. He became famous for the cartoons of elaborate inventions he created from 1912 to 1932, a new one every two weeks, some taking as long as 30 hours to draw. Front and back endpapers reproduce several of Goldberg’s black-and-white cartoons depicting zany chain reactions typical of his inventions. Neubecker’s own full-color illustrations deftly re-create the comedy of the originals, with double-page spreads dramatizing how to put holes in doughnuts, how to turn off a light, and how to cut your own hair, adding diversity that’s not seen in the originals. Goldberg appears in the illustrations as a white man; the streets of New York City are peopled with diverse citizens. Young readers will enjoy tracing the chain reactions for each invention and, in so doing, will be using “the most amazing machine in the universe: / the brain!”

An engaging volume that will encourage readers to think outside the lines. (author’s note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7668-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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An important and inspiring tale well told.

CARTER READS THE NEWSPAPER

This biography of the “father of Black History,” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, highlights experiences that shaped his passion.

Carter was born after the Civil War, but his parents had been slaves, and he grew up hearing the stories of their lives. With six siblings, Carter experienced lean times as a boy. Carter’s father, who couldn’t read or write, had Carter read the newspaper aloud. As a teenager, Carter had to work to help his family. In the coal mines, he met Oliver Jones, a Civil War veteran who opened his small home to the other men as a reading room. There, Carter once again took on the role of reader, informing Oliver and his friends of what was in the paper—and then researching to tell them more. After three years in the mines, he moved home to continue his education, eventually earning a Ph.D. from Harvard, where a professor challenged him to prove that his people had a history. In 1926 he established Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. Hopkinson skillfully shapes Carter’s childhood, family history, and formative experiences into a cohesive story. The soft curves and natural palette of Tate’s illustrations render potentially scary episodes manageable for young readers, and portraits of historical figures offer an opening to further discovery. The incorporation of newsprint into many page backgrounds artfully echoes the title, and the inclusion of notable figures from black history reinforces the theme (a key is in the backmatter).

An important and inspiring tale well told. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, resources, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-56145-934-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so.

WOMEN ARTISTS A TO Z

Contemporary and historical female artists are showcased for younger readers.

The artists’ names aren’t presented in A-to-Z order. The alphabetical arrangement actually identifies signature motifs (“D is for Dots” for Yayoi Kusama); preferred media (“I is for Ink” for Elizabeth Catlett); or cultural, natural, or personal motives underlying artworks (“N is for Nature” for Maya Lin). Various media are covered, such as painting, box assemblage, collage, photography, pottery, and sculpture. One artist named isn’t an individual but rather the Gee’s Bend Collective, “generations of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama,” renowned for quilting artistry. Each artist and her or their work is introduced on a double-page spread that features succinct descriptions conveying much admiring, easily comprehensible information. Colorful illustrations include graphically simplified representations of the women at work or alongside examples of their art; the spreads provide ample space for readers to understand what the artists produced. Several women were alive when this volume was written; some died in the recent past or last century; two worked several hundred years ago, when female artists were rare. Commendably, the profiled artists are very diverse: African American, Latina, Native American, Asian, white, and multiethnic women are represented; this diversity is reflected in their work, as explained via texts and illustrations.

A solid introduction to fascinating artists, some familiar, others less so. (minibiographies, discussion questions, art suggestions) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10872-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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