The Latest In Progress
Simon & Schuster (Atheneum)
This picture book biography features simple yet powerful writing and stunning illustrations made from oil paints and collage. Weatherford highlights the ups and downs of the remarkable life of Lena Horne, who spoke up for civil rights and paved the way for future African American entertainers. Overall, this is a beautiful book with an inspiring message for young readers. Meaghan McKeron. Seven to Ten.
Macmillan (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)
With detailed and beautiful illustrations and and equally carefully constructed text, we are taken on a Grand Canyon journey through time, explaining how the canyon was formed, the changing flora and fauna, the differing climates in the canyon and the formation of its varying rock layers. Lots to pour over here, this book will continue to inform the more you read it and study the information in every illustration. End notes add to the enjoyment of the book. Seven to Ten. -Edie Ching.
Macmillan (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)
This book sweetly answers the age old question of where does the dead goldfish go. Not down the toilet in this case. Instead this goldfish becomes a ghost, looking for a place to "settle down". There are lots of little clues here of the goldfish's "former" life, the title of books lying about, a banner from Cape Cod. The illustrations are warm and give a strong sense of place, the beach, the town, other wanderings. A nice alternative to all of those other dead fish stories. Edie Ching (up to 7).
Simon & Schuster
Amina shares with us her shyness, her jealousy when her best friend welcomes the friendship of another, her worries about her brother. She just happens to be Muslim. When, in the later chapters of the book her mosque is vandalized the emphasis is on the support of the community. I appreciated that the iman was going to participate in the dunking game at the carnival. A story that creates a feeling of inclusiveness. Ten to Fourteen -Edie Ching
Macmillan (Christy Ottaviano/Holt)
A close look at the year London spent in the Yukon trying to make his fortune in the gold fields. The details point out the grueling nature of his time there but also the experiences that helped shape future writings (another way to make a fortune). Photographs are mixed with Minor's black and white drawings to accentuate the details of the text. A timeline covers the major events of London's entire life and the book looks back on what experiences brought London to Alaska. This book has everything, a great book for biography, a great adventure story and a close up look at a major period in American History. Edie Ching (10-14)
With a tone similar to Little Bear, Charlie and his brother have adventures large and small that involve their parents and their many friends, of all ethnicities. I particularly enjoyed the snack at Sakamoto's Shave Ice. Their conversations are very natural and child like as are their actions. Look for our own children to ask for a bed-time popsicle. The illustrations enhance the story perfectly. A lovely package. Edie Ching (up to 7)
In free verse that reads like conversations we learn of the love that grows between Mildred Jeter and her brother's friend Richard Loving. It is not until well into their narratives that we learn Mildred is African American, Richard, Caucasian. Their marriage is against the laws of Virginia and a very hostile and aggressive sheriff makes their life miserable until he drives them north. But desperate to be near family, they keep returning and finally their case goes before the Supreme Court. Strickland's few illustrations are soft warm tones interspersed with photographs and newspaper headlines. An important book about how 2 simple people with no "agenda", just the desire to be together and raise their family close to relatives changed the law. Edie Ching (10-14)