Another volume to enrich every household, school, and library and inspire another generation of dreamers.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE DREAMERS

VISIONARY WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD

This illustrated collection of diverse biographies profiles women from around the world and throughout history who dreamed big and then lived those dreams.

Using the same winning format as her beloved first volume, Little Leaders (2017), Harrison expands her focus. In chronological order and spread by spread, from philanthropist Fatima Al-Fihri of ninth-century North Africa to contemporary artist and architect Maya Lin, each “dreamer” is presented, with a page of text about her youth, her environment, and her accomplishments facing a full-page portrait. The portraits feature cherubic faces (with eyes always closed), clothing and objects representing the woman being honored, and a background that reflects her achievements. A few familiar names (Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo) are included among many that will be new to readers, such as Esther Afua Ocloo, an entrepreneur from Ghana, and Asima Chatterjee, an organic chemist from India. The thread that ties them together is their pursuit of opportunities to use their talents even when the world they were born into wasn’t ready for them. While the book’s flawless design matches that of Little Leaders, the reading level is higher, perhaps because many of the women led intellectual pursuits and so may be less easily explained. Still, readers who value science and discovery as much as art and activism will be delighted to find this follow-up volume. Eighteen further figures are briefly profiled before the backmatter.

Another volume to enrich every household, school, and library and inspire another generation of dreamers. (further resources, sources, glossary) (Collective biography. 9-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-47517-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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