An engaging and informative true story of perseverance and discovery.

READ REVIEW

HOWARD AND THE MUMMY

HOWARD CARTER AND THE SEARCH FOR KING TUT'S TOMB

Fern and Kulikov, collaborators on the picture-book biographies Barnum’s Bones (2012) and W is for Webster (2015), bring the self-taught archaeologist who discovered King Tut’s tomb to life.

Howard Carter’s obsession with mummies began when he was a boy in England and visited a nearby mansion filled with ancient Egyptian artifacts. Carter dreamed of discovering a mummy himself. At 17, he took a job copying ancient art for the Egypt Exploration Fund. Awed by the art and architecture he sketched and copied, Carter was eager to make discoveries of his own. He taught himself the methodologies of archaeology, Arabic, geology, Egyptian history, and how to read hieroglyphics. As an antiquities inspector for the Egyptian government, Carter excavated several tombs only to find they had been looted. Undaunted, Carter devised a plan to excavate every unsearched inch in the Valley of the Kings. His dogged persistence paid off in 1922 when he discovered the treasure-filled tomb of Tutankhamun. Quoting from Carter’s own account, Fern infuses her story with excitement. She describes Carter as having a “funky personality” with a “stubborn attitude and worse table manners”; Kulikov’s exaggerated illustrations energetically capture Carter’s ambition and fascination with his subject.

An engaging and informative true story of perseverance and discovery. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30305-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Disappointingly lackadaisical.

WHEN SPARKS FLY

THE TRUE STORY OF ROBERT GODDARD, THE FATHER OF US ROCKETRY

Punctuated—unsurprisingly—by explosions, an account of the groundbreaking rocketeer’s childhood and first experiments.

Fueled by an early interest in hands-on science nurtured by his parents and sparked by reading The War of the Worlds, Goddard’s ambition to “build something that would soar to space” led to years of experimentation and failure analysis. Finally, in 1926, a brief but successful flight pointed the way to “every shuttle that has blasted into space, every astronaut who has defied gravity, and every man who has walked on the moon.” Fulton occasionally skimps on scientific details (in one childhood trial Robert “emptied a small vial of hydrogen into a pan”; even in the backmatter, there’s no explanation why, as he notes in his journal, “Hydrogen and oxygen when combined near a flame will ignite”). Still, she highlights the profound curiosity and determined, methodical effort that ultimately earned her subject a well-deserved place in the pantheon of scientists and inventors. Scientific gear in Funck’s cartoon illustrations often looks generic, and in one scene he depicts a rocket that is markedly different from the one described in the adjacent narrative. Moreover, his explosions look like fried eggs, and most come with oddly undersized if all-capped onomatopoeia (“BOOM!”; “POP!”) that underplays both the melodramatic potential and the real danger to which Goddard must have exposed himself. Goddard and his family are white.

Disappointingly lackadaisical. (afterword, list of sources) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6098-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Admiration for a unique talent shines as brightly as her jeweled creations in this biographical homage.

PARROTS, PUGS, AND PIXIE DUST

A BOOK ABOUT FASHION DESIGNER JUDITH LEIBER

Judith Leiber designed over-the-top jeweled evening bags that have become cherished collector’s items.

She and her family survived World War II and the Holocaust as forced laborers in factories, living in shared apartments with other Jewish families and later hiding in a basement. All the while she kept dreaming of the bags she would make someday. She married an American and moved to New York, where she worked for many handbag companies and then started her own, making her signature bags for the rich and famous. They took the form of animals or food and all kinds of imaginative shapes. Each bag was covered in jewels and crystals in a plethora of shining, gleaming, bright colors. Blumenthal blends biographical facts with glowing, almost breathless descriptions of the unusual, beautiful bags and their celebrated owners. Readers may notice that the chronology is off; they learn that Leiber started her own company in 1963 and then, a few pages later, that Leiber designed Mamie Eisenhower’s bag for the 1953 inaugural balls. D’yans’ softly hued, slightly fuzzy illustrations depict many of the bags noted by the author and seem to shine as brightly as the bags themselves. Dark, muddy hues appropriately limn the Holocaust years.

Admiration for a unique talent shines as brightly as her jeweled creations in this biographical homage. (author’s note, photographs, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0898-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more