Eye-opening for young people who often take their technology for granted.

READ REVIEW

THINK SMART, BE FEARLESS

A BIOGRAPHY OF BILL GATES

From the Growing to Greatness series

Following Just Like Beverly, by Vicki Conrad and illustrated by David Hohn (2019), this second entry in the Growing to Greatness series, featuring creative people from the Pacific Northwest, focuses on Bill Gates and the curiosity and ambition that led to his prominence in the world of personal computing.

As the third William Henry Gates, Bill was called Trey until he switched from his public school to the strict and exclusive Lakeside School in Seattle. Bored in school, Gates was finally inspired when he and his friends discovered a ASR-33 Teletype, which spurred Bill to begin programming, suspecting this was the forefront of a home-computer revolution. At Harvard, he and his friends began creating their own software and later created a company initially called Micro-Soft. The text is lively but frequently vague, with occasional odd phrases and ideas left unexplained. For example, when Gates became concerned about poor children around the world dying of diseases for lack of inexpensive vaccines, the text states, “Bill decided to turn caring into action,” but doesn’t specify exactly what he did, missing an opportunity to showcase Gates’ philanthropic work. Mildenberger’s illustrations nicely capture the energy of the text and include brown faces of classmates and on his travels. Young readers and listeners will get the titular message loud and clear.

Eye-opening for young people who often take their technology for granted. (further information, timeline, glossary) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-176-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Blandly laudatory.

I AM WALT DISNEY

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

The iconic animator introduces young readers to each “happy place” in his life.

The tally begins with his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri, and climaxes with Disneyland (carefully designed to be “the happiest place on Earth”), but the account really centers on finding his true happy place, not on a map but in drawing. In sketching out his early flubs and later rocket to the top, the fictive narrator gives Ub Iwerks and other Disney studio workers a nod (leaving his labor disputes with them unmentioned) and squeezes in quick references to his animated films, from Steamboat Willie to Winnie the Pooh (sans Fantasia and Song of the South). Eliopoulos incorporates stills from the films into his cartoon illustrations and, characteristically for this series, depicts Disney as a caricature, trademark mustache in place on outsized head even in childhood years and child sized even as an adult. Human figures default to white, with occasional people of color in crowd scenes and (ahistorically) in the animation studio. One unidentified animator builds up the role-modeling with an observation that Walt and Mickey were really the same (“Both fearless; both resourceful”). An assertion toward the end—“So when do you stop being a child? When you stop dreaming”—muddles the overall follow-your-bliss message. A timeline to the EPCOT Center’s 1982 opening offers photos of the man with select associates, rodent and otherwise. An additional series entry, I Am Marie Curie, publishes simultaneously, featuring a gowned, toddler-sized version of the groundbreaking physicist accepting her two Nobel prizes.

Blandly laudatory. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2875-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more