A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

THE LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

Krensky tells the remarkable story of George Washington Carver with humanity and grace. Born into slavery and orphaned young, Carver and his brother were raised with love by the white couple who once owned them. For inquisitive, intelligent George, they hired a tutor—since he couldn’t attend the local whites-only school. At age 12, George struck out on his own, always in pursuit of more knowledge. Krensky’s language, quiet and strong, hits all the right notes, describing how setback and recognition seemed to come in tandem for Carver. Booker T. Washington asked him to head the agricultural institute at Tuskegee, but an utter lack of supplies left him scavenging the town dump. Throughout his life, Carver’s gentle persistence and boundless curiosity led him from strength to strength. Bathed in sunlight and warmth, Clay’s illustrations invest Carver’s face with quiet determination. A top-notch introduction for schoolchildren of any age. (chronology) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-027885-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Collins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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DOG HEAVEN

Rylant's debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. ``When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.'' There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: ``Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.'' Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-590-41701-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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