LOU GEHRIG

THE LUCKIEST MAN

The aw-shucks decency of Gehrig drives this picture-book biography from Adler (One Yellow Daffodil, 1995, etc.); what comes through is Gehrig as a genuine rarity, blessed with colossal athletic talent that he carried with dignity and modesty. The familiar story (no sources are given, but it follows the Gary Cooper movie, Pride of the Yankees, quite closely) is here: how Gehrig left college and signed with the Yankees to get money for his family; his remarkable, 14-year, 2,130-consecutive-game record; how he benched himself when he started to experience the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; his farewell speech to Yankee fans (``I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth''); his death at age 37 and the rain that fell on his funeral. Adler never overstates the adulation, which would sound hokey on anyone else's shoulders, but fits Gehrig snugly. Newcomer Widener's illustrations capture the texture of Gehrig's city and playing fields, although one spread—of Yankee Stadium in the rain— brings the book to a premature close (a dangling page of text follows). Readers will feel good after reading this biography—and maybe even inspired to start measuring themselves against Gehrig's standard. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200523-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1997

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A solid sequel, easily accessible to readers who missed Volume 1.

LITTLE SHAQ TAKES A CHANCE

From the Little Shaq series , Vol. 2

A fictionalized young Shaquille O'Neal returns for a second illustrated story about life beyond the basketball court.

Little Shaq and his cousin Barry come home from the rec center giddy about Little Shaq's first three-point shot but are greeted with another surprise. For the first time, Little Shaq's mom has made sushi for a family dinner. Barry and the others dig in, but Little Shaq's curiosity about sushi only hits him after the last roll is gone. Little Shaq's joy and confidence on the court—best expressed when Little Shaq exuberantly tosses a postgame grape into Barry's mouth ("Three points!")—contrast strongly with his unease trying new foods or activities. A large part of the book concerns a school art project, and Little Shaq's frustration is made poignantly clear through both illustration and description ("Little Shaq crumpled up his drawing and marched back to the supply tables"). Throughout, the love among Little Shaq's family members shines through in their interactions, and the story delivers a message without triteness. Taylor’s full-color illustrations break up text on almost every page, adding warmth and energy. (Final art not seen.)

A solid sequel, easily accessible to readers who missed Volume 1. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-844-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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