An uplifting tale of animal rights, perseverance, and kids’ power to make a difference.

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WILD HORSE ANNIE

FRIEND OF THE MUSTANGS

Polio survivor Velma Bronn Johnston, known as Wild Horse Annie, fights to save mustang horses from slaughter.

Since she was “just a speck of a girl,” Annie has loved the mustangs on her family’s Nevada ranch. After Annie contracts polio at age 11, emerging with a bent spine and twisted face, she dreams of galloping with wild herds. But by the time Annie gets married and starts her own ranch, the herds have been killed by cattle ranchers and hunters. In folksy language matching Annie’s quoted quips, Fern recounts Annie’s campaigns to protect mustangs first locally, then federally. Refusing to “hush up” and unfazed by threats, Annie sends hundreds of letters and addresses government officials even though speaking in public makes her feel like “a cat on a hot frying pan.” Finally, help from her “secret weapon”—an enthusiastic letter-writing, fundraising “pencil brigade” of schoolchildren—leads to the 1971 passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Salerno’s sun-drenched illustrations capture the equally hardy spirits of the mustangs and Annie herself. Though the author acknowledges Annie’s disfigurement, chronic pain, and self-consciousness, Annie’s most prominent features are alternately her stubbornly scowling eyebrows and wide, warm grin. An author’s note provides further background on mustangs and Johnston’s pioneering efforts. Annie and her husband are white; the children’s complexions vary.

An uplifting tale of animal rights, perseverance, and kids’ power to make a difference. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-374-30306-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable...

THE BRAVE CYCLIST

THE TRUE STORY OF A HOLOCAUST HERO

An extraordinary athlete was also an extraordinary hero.

Gino Bartali grew up in Florence, Italy, loving everything about riding bicycles. After years of studying them and years of endurance training, he won the 1938 Tour de France. His triumph was muted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Mussolini followed Hitler in the establishment of anti-Jewish laws. In the middle years of the conflict, Bartali was enlisted by a cardinal of the Italian church to help Jews by becoming a document courier. His skill as a cyclist and his fame helped him elude capture until 1944. When the war ended, he kept his clandestine efforts private and went on to win another Tour de France in 1948. The author’s afterword explains why his work was unknown. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, honored him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2013. Bartali’s is a life well worth knowing and well worthy of esteem. Fedele’s illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages.

What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard. (photograph, select bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-063-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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