Sarah Goode: a name well worth knowing and celebrating.

Readers meet a forward-thinking woman whose name ought to be widely known but isn’t.

Sarah E. Goode was born a slave, the daughter of a skilled free carpenter who “could build anything.” Sarah acquired her father’s woodcraft skills, and, after emancipation, she moved to Chicago, met and married African-American stair builder Archibald Goode, started a family, and realized her dream of owning her own furniture store. Working alongside Archibald, she fashioned a piece of furniture that would make efficient use of space for her customers whose big families were crammed into small living quarters. A desk by day, Sarah’s cabinet bed unfolded into a bed at night. Her first attempt to secure a patent failed because others had already patented components of her design, but with some legal help and revisions to her application, she received the patent for her cabinet bed in 1885, becoming the first African-American woman to be granted a patent. The succinctness with which Kirkfield tells this story emphasizes Goode’s drive to succeed despite obstacles. The illustrations, which have a smooth, digital patina, show her strength and resolve to build something that was both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The presence of her children also suggests that she passed her skills on to them. An author’s note provides further historical context and explains a patent.

Sarah Goode: a name well worth knowing and celebrating.   (timeline) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-939547-31-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019


A gleeful game for budding naturalists.

Artfully cropped animal portraits challenge viewers to guess which end they’re seeing.

In what will be a crowd-pleasing and inevitably raucous guessing game, a series of close-up stock photos invite children to call out one of the titular alternatives. A page turn reveals answers and basic facts about each creature backed up by more of the latter in a closing map and table. Some of the posers, like the tail of an okapi or the nose on a proboscis monkey, are easy enough to guess—but the moist nose on a star-nosed mole really does look like an anus, and the false “eyes” on the hind ends of a Cuyaba dwarf frog and a Promethea moth caterpillar will fool many. Better yet, Lavelle saves a kicker for the finale with a glimpse of a small parasitical pearlfish peeking out of a sea cucumber’s rear so that the answer is actually face and butt. “Animal identification can be tricky!” she concludes, noting that many of the features here function as defenses against attack: “In the animal world, sometimes your butt will save your face and your face just might save your butt!” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gleeful game for budding naturalists. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9781728271170

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


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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