Will inspire young readers to stay true to themselves.

PIGSKINS TO PAINTBRUSHES

THE STORY OF FOOTBALL-PLAYING ARTIST ERNIE BARNES

Ernest “Ernie” Barnes was teased for his love for art and indifference to sports; despite this, Ernie found a way to satisfy his love of art and stop the teasing.

This biography begins with Barnes’ early life in segregated Durham, North Carolina, where he was singled out by classmates for his lack of athletic ability. In junior high, Barnes joined his school’s football team but later quit. In high school, coaches recruited Barnes due to his size, and after taking up weight training, he became a powerhouse player. His incredible talent on the field led to college scholarships and, eventually, spots on several pro teams. At the end of his athletic career, Barnes decided to return to art full time and held his first art show while employed as an artist for the New York Jets. Barnes’ paintings were featured in art shows across the country and appeared on the TV show Good Times, a show Barnes also appeared on and that young Tate watched regularly. Via quotations, Tate weaves Barnes’ own voice into his smoothly told narrative, to great effect. Tate’s illustrations are a bit of a departure from his characteristic style, using matte surfaces and collage to evoke Barnes’ times. A scene of Barnes in uniform, sketching on the sidelines, says it all. A conversational afterword and author’s note flesh out Barnes’ life and describe Tate’s process. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Will inspire young readers to stay true to themselves. (source notes, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4943-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world.

GRANDMA'S GARDENS

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.

Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate’s mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy’s wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer’s translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11535-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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