A lively look at the ingenuity of women suffragists near the end of their long road to the vote.

AROUND AMERICA TO WIN THE VOTE

TWO SUFFRAGISTS, A KITTEN, AND 10,000 MILES

Rockliff introduces Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, whose five-month, 10,000-mile crusade for women’s voting rights drew crowds and made colorful newspaper copy in 1916.

Toting a kitten, a “teeny-tiny typewriter” and “an itsy-bitsy sewing machine”—the better to demonstrate, during speeches, women’s many skills—the women depart New York City in a yellow Saxon runabout. They journey south, then west, across Texas to California, returning through northern border states. (A simple double-page map charts the route.) The spry narrative focuses mainly on the outward-bound segments, as Nell and Alice weather an East Coast blizzard, address curious crowds, join a circus parade in Georgia, and attend genteel socials. Rockliff knits from a skein of exciting cross-country events, all drawn from contemporary newspaper accounts. “They dodged bullets at the Mexican border… / drove on through the desert… / and got lost for days… / till, finally, they reached… // CALIFORNIA!” Hooper’s sunny full-page and spot pictures combine pencil and printmaking in digital layers that evoke the off-register color separations of mid-20th-century children’s illustrations. Most faces, features penciled in, are left as white as the background paper, with occasional pink or tan accents for cheeks and noses. Diversity is expressed in crowd scenes and on a New Orleans veranda, with a few faces tinted tan or brown.

A lively look at the ingenuity of women suffragists near the end of their long road to the vote. (historical note, source note, bibliography of children’s titles) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7893-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An evocative picture-book bildungsroman with equally atmospheric illustrations.

FARAWAY THINGS

A found “faraway thing” becomes a turning point in the life of a boy.

“Lucian live[s] with his mother on a windswept shore.” His father has been absent from their lighthouse home for long enough that Lucian worries his real memories of him are fading. After a storm, Lucian combs the beach for what his father had called “faraway things”—objects tossed up by the sea—and finds a cutlass. Thrilled, he plays with it, sweeping and slashing the air. The next day dawns foggy, but when it lifts Lucian spies a stranded sailing ship. As he watches, a rowboat is lowered from the ship and moves toward him. The captain steps ashore, wearing a sheath that matches the cutlass. He tells Lucian the cutlass belongs to him, but in trade, the captain will let Lucian select anything from his treasures. Lucian reluctantly realizes the cutlass belongs to the captain and agrees. At the ship, the captain shows Lucian wonderful things and advises him to “choose wisely.” Lucian does. This bildungsroman’s timeless and slightly otherworldly feel is underscored by its illustrations’ muted, effective palette of earth, sea, and sky tones. Unusual perspectives—an ingenious choice for a muted palette—create visual stimulation, showing views from both above and below the horizon line. Satisfyingly, the endpapers allegorically start and finish the story. The captain has dark skin; Lucian and the others have light skin.

An evocative picture-book bildungsroman with equally atmospheric illustrations. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49219-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

This reimagined telling has an engaging charm that rings true.

KAFKA AND THE DOLL

An imagining of an unlikely real-life episode in the life of absurdist Franz Kafka.

Theule follows the outline of the account: When Kafka meets an unhappy girl in a Berlin park in 1923 and learns her doll is lost, Kafka writes a series of letters from Soupsy, the doll, to Irma, the girl. The real letters and the girl’s identity have been lost to history; the invented letters describe a dazzling variety of adventures for Soupsy. Unfortunately, as the letters increase in excitement, Kafka’s health declines (he would die of tuberculosis in June 1924), and he must find a way to end Soupsy’s adventures in a positive way. In an author’s note, readers learn that Kafka chose to write that Soupsy was getting married. Theule instead opts to send the doll on an Antarctic expedition. Irma gets the message that she can do anything, and the final image shows her riding a camel, a copy of Metamorphosis peeking from a satchel. While kids may not care about Kafka, the short relationship between the writer and the little girl will keep their interest. Realizing that an adult can care so much about a child met in the park is empowering. The stylized illustrations, especially those set in the chilly Berlin fall, resemble woodcuts with a German expressionist look. The doll’s adventures look a little sweeter, with more red and blue added to the brown palette of the German scenes. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 23% of actual size.)

This reimagined telling has an engaging charm that rings true. (biographical note, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11632-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more