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A richly layered, powerful introduction to an entrepreneur and the problems he solved.

Enter the world of Victor Hugo Green and his famous Green Book for Black travelers.

Green delivered mail in Leonia, New Jersey, even after moving to Harlem with his wife, Alma. During the Great Depression, new highways and turnpikes and newly inexpensive car models were driving more families to own cars. Black travelers had extra stress and danger to worry about when traveling through unfamiliar, often hostile terrain. Black-owned newspapers and word of mouth kept them informed on how to stay safe. Green “got busy problem-solving,” gathering information from people and publications into one guide, the Green Book, which started in 1936 as a pamphlet covering New York City and neighboring towns and grew steadily to cover the entire nation. The story extends beyond Green’s death in 1960 to end on the hopeful note of the civil rights legislation Green had hoped for, when, with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination related to transportation services was outlawed. Bolden’s bold, strong, conversational prose sets the scene, representing courageous, talented Black people strategizing to keep their dignity in an unfair world. With his signature painterly art, Velasquez beautifully brings to life settings, families, and communities through varied compositions and scrapbook-style pages. Text and illustrations incorporate primary source documents—maps, advertisements, excerpts from newspapers—that add to the authentic feel. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A richly layered, powerful introduction to an entrepreneur and the problems he solved. (timeline, more information on Victor Hugo Green, notes, selected sources, websites) (Picture-book biography. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-296740-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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