Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience.

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

GOLDA MEIR'S FIRST CRUSADE

A group of school friends provides Golda Meir with her first leadership test.

Golda is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Milwaukee when she becomes active in the American Young Sisters Society. As their president, Golda tasks them to raise money to buy new textbooks for classmates. The neighborhood is very poor, and pennies are precious to the shoppers who patronize her parents’ store, so it’s no easy feat. The young girl is highly motivated and struggles to write a speech for a fundraiser, finally deciding to “speak from my heart.” The event is a success, and Golda immediately decides to found a new group and “be [its] president!” In her first book for children, Krasner presents a pleasantly fictionalized story about a future world leader. Garrity-Riley’s digitally manipulated gouache-and-collage illustrations are a nice accompaniment featuring wallpaper backgrounds and fashionable period clothing. However the overall effect, with so many washed-out browns and blues, is drab. Pale circles of cheek blush on the characters bring to mind pages from a shopping catalog. Stopping short of Meir’s Zionist passion and move to Palestine, the book forces readers to consult the biographical note to understand why Goldie is important beyond the story.

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience. (photographs, places to visit, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1200-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable...

WHEN THE SLAVE ESPERANÇA GARCIA WROTE A LETTER

By way of tribute, two admirers spin a tale around a truly rare document: a petition sent by an 18th-century enslaved woman to a Brazilian governor.

The letter, a brief one reporting a new master’s ill treatment and begging for permission to rejoin her husband and have her children baptized, was discovered only in 1979 and is presented here in a modernized translation. Around it Rosa embroiders a rudimentary storyline that feels oddly disconnected. She begins with Garcia herself explaining that her previous, Jesuit owners had taught her to read and write before she was separated from her husband, then switches to the third person at an arbitrary point, then just as abruptly shifts from narrative to exposition at the end. Also, there being no record of a reply to the letter, Rosa opts just to leave Garcia waiting for one, closing with the hyperbolic claim that her “voice was a forceful cry for liberation.” Hees’ richly hued illustrations show Afro-Brazilian influences in stylized background settings made of patterned bands and very dark-skinned figures with strong, composed features. A historical note includes a map of the colonial locale but no reproduction of the actual letter.

Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable woman!” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55498-729-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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A greater exploration of the art form than the artist.

BASHO'S HAIKU JOURNEYS

A glimpse into the life of a legendary poet.

A brief preface explains that the beloved Japanese poet Basho was born in 1644 in Edo, Japan. However, this particular title is focused on his “wayfaring, or traveling, life,” which occurred during the period from 1684 to 1689. The story is divided into five sections modeled after the five journeys Basho took, which later served as inspiration for some of his most recognized work. Via narration cast entirely in a series of haiku, readers are introduced to the poet when he is still a teacher. Faced with sudden change when his house burns down, Basho decides to be “forever afoot” in his quest to seek “the Way” and embarks on the path as a wanderer. The majority of his journeys consist of observations of fleeting moments in nature, such as the birth of a fawn, a “newborn spirit,” during his third journey. Later, in his fourth, he feels the dizzying heights of mountains. The whimsical haiku are paired with Rockwood Ghanem’s landscapes, rendered in bold colors that deftly blend together to invoke the feeling of misty mountains and grassy fields. As a sudden illness takes Basho on his fifth and final journey, the concluding lines from the poet himself ponder the natural course of life. While the narrative is skillfully done, readers may become more familiar with the art of haiku than with Basho’s life.

A greater exploration of the art form than the artist. (note on haiku) (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-61172-069-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Stone Bridge Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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