An inspirational story about persevering in the face of hardship.

FAUJA SINGH KEEPS GOING

THE TRUE STORY OF THE OLDEST PERSON TO EVER RUN A MARATHON

A short, illustrated biography of Fauja Singh, who was the first 100-year-old to ever run a marathon.

As the picture book begins, Fauja Singh, a clever child with a good sense of fun, often feels left out, as he is unable to walk and run like his friends. His family worries about his weak legs, but the boy learns to walk at the age of 5 after much practice and effort. He cannot go to school, however, as the only school is several miles away from his village, and his legs are still weak; instead, he learns to farm, and by the age of 15, he can walk a whole mile. As the years pass, Fauja gets married, has children, and even gets his own farm. After his wife passes away, Fauja goes to live with his family in England at the age of 81. It is here that Fauja begins to run and even signs up for his first marathon. In his narrative, author Singh (no relation) focuses largely on the life and achievements of his subject, emphasizing the importance of working hard and holding on to dreams, while Kaur’s colorful—at-times collagelike—illustrations include key details that help readers fully appreciate aspects of Fauja’s Sikh religion. Fauja Singh’s foreword combines with further information about the oldest marathoner in the backmatter to help contextualize the narrative for young readers.

An inspirational story about persevering in the face of hardship. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55509-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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