As an introduction to women’s power and possibilities, this choice rises above the rest.

LIKE A GIRL

Twenty-four women leaders are pictured as models of working “like a girl” in this rhyming inspirational poem.

The endpapers present the multicultural roster of talented, hardworking women and girls, all apparently cis, depicted in grayscale portraits with their names below their pictures. Each page holds one line of a rhyming couplet with one woman at work in illustrations composed of strong shapes and vivid colors. “Stand up like a girl, by refusing to stand”—Rosa Parks sits calmly on an (empty) bus, looking out at readers; “Stand up like a girl, by extending your hand”—Mother Teresa offers a bowl of rice to three children of different races. Malala Yousafzai raises a fist in the air, holding a “Resist” sign and surrounded by other feminist signs at a protest march; the young Ruby Bridges stands facing a crowd with calm dignity, with the text “keep on going; persist.” Leaders who overcame challenges, such as Hellen Keller and Tammy Duckworth, “prevail like a girl.” Artists, architects, and writers like Frida Kahlo and Zaha Hadid all “create like a girl.” Pilots and astronauts “soar,” athletes “train,” philanthropists and activists “change the world like a girl.” Minibiographies at the end of the book introduce the major accomplishments of each featured leader, helping this book to double as a fun read-aloud and an informative lead-in to further research.

As an introduction to women’s power and possibilities, this choice rises above the rest. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3302-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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