A valuable addition to picture-book biographies of women who made waves in history.

TRUDY'S BIG SWIM

HOW GERTRUDE EDERLE SWAM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND TOOK THE WORLD BY STORM

This picture-book biography of the first woman to swim the English Channel makes a big splash.

On Aug. 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle took the world by storm. As a teenager she earned records for swimming sprint distances, and in 1924 she earned one gold and two bronze medals at the Olympics. By 1925 she had set 29 swimming records. Her endurance and determination made the white New Yorker a strong candidate to challenge the English Channel, which she achieved. The focus of the narrative is on the actual event, with details that give depth to the swim and the woman. Since holding onto the boat was not permitted during the attempt, her support team used a net at the end of a long pole to deliver a baby bottle with chicken broth and fried chicken to give her energy while she treaded water. The 21 miles from a beach in France to the English shore took her 14 hours and 39 minutes. The dramatic, full-bleed illustrations combine with the evocative text to humanize the event and the heroine. Especially effective are the perspectives and depiction of water. Impressive research is evident in the author’s note, bibliographic essay, and source notes. Endpapers list a timeline of 1920s sports highlights.

A valuable addition to picture-book biographies of women who made waves in history. (afterword) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3665-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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THE FENWAY FOUL-UP

BALLPARK MYSTERIES, #1

From the Ballpark Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery. Mike and Kate have tickets to a Red Sox game and an all-access pass to the park, courtesy of Kate's mom, a sportswriter. The pass comes in handy when it's reported that star player Big D's lucky bat has been stolen, as it allows them to help find the thief. Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading, even when the actual mystery of the missing bat falls a little flat. Writing mysteries for very young readers is a challenge—the puzzle has to be easy enough to solve while sustaining readers' interest. This slight adventure is more baseball-park travel pamphlet than mystery, a vehicle for providing interesting details about one of the hallowed halls of baseball. Not a homerun, but certainly a double for the young enthusiast. On deck? The Pinstripe Ghost, also out on Feb. 22, 2011. (historical notes) (Mystery. 6-9)

 

 

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-86703-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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Young readers with a fondness for amphibians will jump all over this one. (Fiction. 6-8)

STINK AND THE FREAKY FROG FREAKOUT

From the Stink series , Vol. 8

Stink Moody, younger brother of Judy, hops into the spotlight with a common problem—and  one that’s a bit more unusual.

Stink would like to advance in his swimming lessons, but he’s afraid to put his face underwater and seems doomed to remain a Polliwog forever. Fortunately, he’s distracted from that issue by the sudden appearance around town—in some surprising places—of a whole lot of real frogs, a few of which are deformed. These frogs give McDonald the opportunity to offer a little information, through the voice of a nature-center guide, on how adverse environmental conditions can influence frog development. Stink memorizes a variety of frog sounds, enabling him to participate in a frog count at a local pond. Somehow, he becomes convinced that he’s turning into a frog himself, but that might just make it possible for him to swim underwater. Brief, cheery, oversized text and lot of cartoonish black-and-white illustrations (only some of which were available for review) make this a good choice for newly independent readers. A minor issue is that the text informs readers that it is early spring; even in Virginia, that’s a little early for Stink to be taking swimming lessons in an outdoor pool, as indicated in the illustrations.

Young readers with a fondness for amphibians will jump all over this one. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6140-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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