A fine tribute as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

THE VOICE OF LIBERTY

When unveiled in New York Harbor in 1886, the statue of a woman became the symbol of American liberty. At the time, real women had few freedoms.

Here’s the little-known fictionalized saga of three New York suffragists, fiercely determined to give Lady Liberty a “voice”—by fighting for women’s voting rights. First, they decide to attend the statue’s welcoming ceremony. No matter that women are forbidden to make speeches on the day or appear on the island where the statue stands. The suffragists—Lillie Devereux Blake; her daughter, Katherine “Katie” Devereux Blake; and Matilda Joslyn Gage—manage to commandeer a smelly cattle barge and join the naval flotilla on the Hudson River. The women chant slogans, some observers hurl insults, and the barge sails right up to the statue. The women’s efforts result in news stories and donations that fund additional suffrage campaigns. This lively account of the events should appeal to readers interested in the Statue of Liberty or women’s history. The clipped prose and vigorous efforts of the stalwart women promote fast-paced reading and dramatize some particulars of the momentous celebration. Bold, colorful, energetic illustrations capture time and place well. The suffragists are depicted as white; some characters are racially diverse. Extras include facts about these suffragists and Lady Liberty, a timeline, bibliography, author’s note, and dialogue sources.

A fine tribute as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-941813-24-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit.

PROFESSOR ASTRO CAT'S SPACE ROCKETS

From the Professor Astro Cat series

The bubble-helmeted feline explains what rockets do and the role they have played in sending people (and animals) into space.

Addressing a somewhat younger audience than in previous outings (Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, 2013, etc.), Astro Cat dispenses with all but a light shower of “factoroids” to describe how rockets work. A highly selective “History of Space Travel” follows—beginning with a crew of fruit flies sent aloft in 1947, later the dog Laika (her dismal fate left unmentioned), and the human Yuri Gagarin. Then it’s on to Apollo 11 in 1969; the space shuttles Discovery, Columbia, and Challenger (the fates of the latter two likewise elided); the promise of NASA’s next-gen Orion and the Space Launch System; and finally vague closing references to other rockets in the works for local tourism and, eventually, interstellar travel. In the illustrations the spacesuited professor, joined by a mouse and cat in similar dress, do little except float in space and point at things. Still, the art has a stylish retro look, and portraits of Sally Ride and Guion Bluford diversify an otherwise all-white, all-male astronaut corps posing heroically or riding blocky, geometric spacecraft across starry reaches.

Energetic enough to carry younger rocketeers off the launch pad if not into a very high orbit. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911171-55-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness.

THE BRAIN IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL

An introduction to the lead guitar and vocalist for the Brainiacs—the human brain.

The brain (familiar to readers of Seluk’s “The Awkward Yeti” webcomic, which spun off the adult title Heart and Brain, 2015) looks like a dodgeball with arms and legs—pinkish, sturdy, and roundish, with a pair of square-framed spectacles bestowing an air of importance and hipness. Other organs of the body—tongue, lungs, stomach, muscle, and heart—are featured as members of the brain’s rock band (the verso of the dust jacket is a poster of the band). Seluk’s breezy, conversational prose and brightly colored, boldly outlined cartoon illustrations deliver basic information. The brain’s role in keeping the heart beating and other automatic functions, directing body movements, interpreting sights and sounds, remembering smells and tastes, and regulating sleep and hunger are all explained, prose augmented by dialogue balloons and information sidebars. Seluk points out, importantly, that feelings originate in the brain: “You can control how you react…but your feelings happen no matter what.” The parodied album covers on the front endpapers (including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Green Day, Run DMC, Queen, Nirvana) will amuse parents—or at least grandparents—and the rear endpapers serve up band members’ clever social media and texting screenshots. Backmatter includes a glossary and further brain trivia but no resources or bibliography.

A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-16700-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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