A bilingual tale deftly illuminates the life of a famous figure in the history of the Americas.

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ANACAONA

THE GOLDEN FLOWER QUEEN

A debut picture book depicts a well-known leader from the history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

This work presents a bilingual biography of Anacaona, a cacique, or chief, on the island of Quisqueya (Hispaniola) at the time of European contact. The book, which presents the text in English and Spanish on facing pages, begins with Anacaona’s birth and childhood, continues through her successful leadership of the community and her death at the hands of the Spanish, and concludes with an assessment of her portrayal in Haitian and Dominican culture in the centuries since her rule. The narrative has the feeling of a legend that has been passed down through generations, with a clear sense of destiny from the moment Anacaona is born to parents who, though they had other children, felt something “was missing in their lives.” Her achievements follow naturally from that beginning, and the ending, while tragic, fits entirely into the tale’s framework. Torres has a firm grasp of Anacaona’s history and does an excellent job of highlighting key moments and making them accessible to young readers. (The text includes descriptions of cruelty and violence that are not excessive but may be too intense for some children.) The 10-year-old author’s writing in both English and Spanish is strong and elegant. And the brightly colored images by debut illustrator Ocampo complement the text and bring the story’s Caribbean setting to life.

A bilingual tale deftly illuminates the life of a famous figure in the history of the Americas.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73313-921-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cayena Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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