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An engaging profile of an inspiring civil rights hero whom readers will enjoy learning about and cheering for.

On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin stood up to racism and segregation in Montgomery, Alabama.

The African American teen’s unwillingness to give up her seat on a bus to a White person, months before Rosa Parks famously did the same, led to her arrest. Her lawyer, Fred Gray, arranged for Parks to meet with Colvin, and the two became friends. At Parks’ behest, Colvin joined the NAACP and spent evenings at Parks’ home when the group’s youth meetings ran late. Because they considered her a troublemaker, Colvin’s classmates ostracized her. She was one of five plaintiffs in a federal court case that challenged Montgomery’s discriminatory bus laws and one of the many people who mobilized to demand positive change. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on Dec. 5, 1955, and by Dec. 21, 1956, anyone could sit wherever they chose on Montgomery’s public buses. This approachable biography of the young activist highlights her bravery, commitment, and vulnerability. Young readers will appreciate learning about a regular kid who did something extraordinary. The acrylic and oil illustrations are vivid and eye-catching, re-creating the period well and capturing its atmosphere. The backmatter includes an author’s note and a brief list of books for further reading. Most characters are Black; a few supporting characters are White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An engaging profile of an inspiring civil rights hero whom readers will enjoy learning about and cheering for. (Picture-book biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32640-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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This second early biography of Cousteau in a year echoes Jennifer Berne’s Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (2008), illustrated by Eric Puybaret, in offering visuals that are more fanciful than informational, but also complements it with a focus less on the early life of the explorer and eco-activist than on his later inventions and achievements. In full-bleed scenes that are often segmented and kaleidoscopic, Yaccarino sets his hook-nosed subject amid shoals of Impressionistic fish and other marine images, rendered in multiple layers of thinly applied, imaginatively colored paint. His customarily sharp, geometric lines take on the wavy translucence of undersea shapes with a little bit of help from the airbrush. Along with tracing Cousteau’s undersea career from his first, life-changing, pair of goggles and the later aqualung to his minisub Sea Flea, the author pays tribute to his revolutionary film and TV work, and his later efforts to call attention to the effects of pollution. Cousteau’s enduring fascination with the sea comes through clearly, and can’t help sparking similar feelings in readers. (chronology, source list) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-375-85573-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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