Despite some bright spots, the lapses in information limit this book’s effectiveness.

READ REVIEW

WHAT DO YOU CELEBRATE?

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS AROUND THE WORLD

Celebrations the world over involve parades, foods, traditional clothing, masks, songs, and games.

Information on 14 festivals, country maps, small photos, sidebars with holiday traditions (in the appropriate language, with pronunciations), and instructions for a craft or a recipe make up the jam-packed left-hand page of each spread. Colorful, detailed cartoon illustrations appear opposite. There are certainly interesting facts and activities, but careless errors (including a typo to be corrected in the second printing) and a decided slant toward Western Europe (five countries) diminish the volume’s value. Opening with a monthly timeline, it offers a basic explanation of the lunar calendar, but this is not integrated into the overall schematic. This spread also includes a note about adult help for crafting and cooking. Many of the holidays are commonly celebrated in many places, and the author’s failure to point out that Eid al-Fitr, for instance, is celebrated around the globe and not just in Egypt is a sad, missed opportunity. A few festivals are not often presented in books of this ilk, such as Bhutan’s Dangpai Losar (New Year) and Laternenfest, held on St. Martin’s Day in Germany. The last spread brings children from the different countries together and asks readers to create their own celebrations. Sadly, given the glancing notice necessitated by the format, there are no further resources included.

Despite some bright spots, the lapses in information limit this book’s effectiveness. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3213-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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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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Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history.

A PLACE TO LAND

The backstory of a renowned address is revealed.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is one of the most famous ever given, yet with this book, Wittenstein and Pinkney give young readers new insights into both the speech and the man behind it. When Dr. King arrived in Washington, D.C., for the 1963 March on Washington, the speech was not yet finished. He turned to his fellow civil rights leaders for advice, and after hours of listening, he returned to his room to compose, fine-tuning even the day of the march. He went on to deliver a powerful speech, but as he closed, he moved away from the prepared text and into a stirring sermon. “Martin was done circling. / The lecture was over. / He was going to church, / his place to land, / and taking a congregation / of two hundred and fifty thousand / along for the ride.” Although much hard work still lay ahead, the impact of Dr. King’s dramatic words and delivery elevated that important moment in the struggle for equal rights. Wittenstein’s free-verse narrative perfectly captures the tension leading up to the speech as each adviser urged his own ideas while remaining a supportive community. Pinkney’s trademark illustrations dramatize this and the speech, adding power and further illuminating the sense of historical importance.

Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history. (author’s note, lists of advisers and speakers, bibliography, source notes) (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4331-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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