Stone delivers a winner.

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THE REAL STORY OF HOW MONOPOLY WAS INVENTED

The surprisingly complex history of one of America’s favorite board games.

In the early 1900s, Lizzie Magie created and patented the Landlord’s Game in order to demonstrate the frequent injustices of the landlord-tenant relationship—it even had socialist alternative rules. As people began to play the game, it was adapted by players, including a business professor who called the game Monopoly. During the Great Depression, a down-on-his-luck businessman named Charles Darrow decided to handcraft and sell Monopoly boards, adding many of the design features we know today. As the success of Darrow’s version of Monopoly grew, Parker Brothers took interest—only to discover that they couldn’t patent it, as Lizzie Magie already had! When Parker Brothers finally gained rights to the game in 1935, Magie received relatively little compensation while Darrow made a small fortune. Stone presents the board game’s messy history with ease, providing a clear, linear path to today’s Monopoly without ever compromising the nuances of its invention. Direct-address narration engages children, leaving room for them to draw their own conclusions: “So who wins in this story? What do you think?” Salerno’s soft, dynamic full-bleed illustrations reflect yet move beyond the aesthetics of the game and time period, making every page compelling and fresh. All illustrated people, including named figures and background characters, appear white. Backmatter includes trivia, Monopoly-related math problems, an author’s note, and a bibliography.

Stone delivers a winner. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62779-168-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

ROSA PARKS

From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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