An efficient introduction to another groundbreaking woman.

HEADSTRONG HALLIE!

THE STORY OF HALLIE MORSE DAGGETT, THE FIRST FEMALE "FIRE GUARD"

Growing up roaming the forests of California’s Siskiyou Mountains, the only thing Hallie Morse Daggett fears is fire.

She’s seen it devastate the forests, and it’s come terrifyingly close to her own home, and she brings food to the men of the U.S. Forest Service whenever they fight fires nearby. When she grows up she applies to work for them—again and again, always to be told they don’t hire women. But when, in 1913, a fire-lookout position opens up right before fire season begins and Daggett, now 30, again applies, the Forest Service finally says yes. The men take bets that she won’t last in the tiny, isolated cabin she’s assigned, but of course she does, spotting 40 fires in her first season. When, 14 years later, the wee cabin is replaced by a much fancier installation, Daggett retires after only one season in it, a decision framed by Bissonette in her admiring, economically engaging narration as prompted by her distaste for frippery. In her author’s note, Bissonette describes the paucity of the historical record and fills in the scant details of Daggett’s life following her retirement. In Hohn’s illustrations, Daggett appears as a lanky, determined White girl and woman. The backdrop of trees and mountains she appears against is rendered in a disappointingly pastel palette, effectively foregrounding Daggett but failing to represent the region’s rugged majesty. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 60.1% of actual size.)

An efficient introduction to another groundbreaking woman. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5341-1061-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Informative yet optimistic, this cri du coeur from Planet Awesome deserves wide attention.

OUR PLANET! THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE EARTH

From the Our Universe series , Vol. 6

The sixth in McAnulty’s Our Universe series focuses on Earth’s human-caused problems, offering some family-level activities for mitigation.

Vivaciously narrated by “Planet Awesome,” the text establishes facts about how Earth’s location with regard to the sun allows life to flourish, the roles of the ocean and atmosphere, and the distinctions between weather and climate. McAnulty clearly explains how people have accelerated climate change “because so many human things need energy.” Soft-pedaling, she avoids overt indictment of fossil fuels: “Sometimes energy leads to dirty water, dirty land, and dirty air.” Dire changes are afoot: “Some land is flooding. Other land is too dry—and hot. YIKES! Not good.” “And when I’m in trouble, Earthlings are in trouble, too.” Litchfield’s engaging art adds important visual information where the perky text falls short. On one spread, a factory complex spews greenhouse gases in three plumes, each identified by the chemical symbols for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Throughout, planet Earth is appealingly represented with animated facial features and arms—one green, one blue. The palette brightens and darkens in sync with the text’s respective messages of hope and alarm. Final pages introduce alternative energy sources—wind, hydro, solar, and “human power—that’s from your own two feet.” Lastly, Earth provides excellent ideas for hyperlocal change, from buying less new stuff to planting trees. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Informative yet optimistic, this cri du coeur from Planet Awesome deserves wide attention. (author’s note, numerical facts, atmospheric facts, ideas for action, sources) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-78249-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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