A small, inviting window into the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson and an inspiring tribute to a life’s dream realized.

A HOME FOR MR. EMERSON

The team behind creative picture-book biographies The Extraordinary Mark Twain (2010) and What To Do About Alice? (2008) turns its attention to 19th-century American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emersonian quotations adorn the pages and endpapers (“Every spirit builds a house, and beyond its house a world….Build therefore your own world”), but the philosopher’s ideas and historical context are not the focus of this visually dynamic biography. Instead, this is largely the story of a natural scholar who loves his cozy home in Concord, Mass., so much that when it is damaged in a terrible fire, he mourns it like the death of a person. The illustrations—prancing across oversized pages—are cheery, inventive, bright and busy, depicting a contented-looking man in coat and tails basking in the magnificence of life. In bold and whimsical spreads, Emerson literally dives into books, strides across a U.S. map and, most dramatically, looms as a silhouette amid the flaming ruins of his beloved house. It’s hard to say whether this tale will inspire children to further investigation into the philosopher’s life and work, but the author’s note does help round out the portrait, including Emerson’s friendships with Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott.

A small, inviting window into the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson and an inspiring tribute to a life’s dream realized. (author’s note, philosophical prompts, source notes, acknowledgments) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-35088-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

Did you like this book?

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more