Young readers will find much food for thought in this inspiring profile of a lesser-known civil rights leader.

SWEET JUSTICE

GEORGIA GILMORE AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT

Georgia Gilmore was just an ordinary person when she fed and funded the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“Georgia was cooking when she heard the news,” the story begins. The year is 1955, and civil rights activist Rosa Parks has just been arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a White man on a bus. Gilmore had spent her entire life in Montgomery, Alabama, and was no stranger to segregation. Having had her own brush with a racist bus driver, she knew the pain of being treated unjustly. Georgia springs into action, joining her neighbors as they march through the streets in mass protest against the Montgomery bus system. Georgia begins selling pastries and dinners, including her famous crispy chicken sandwiches, keeping the people fed during Dr. Martin Luther King’s church meetings. She then organizes a secret group of friends, dubbed the Club From Nowhere, to help her continue the venture. They use the money they make to support the boycott, which ultimately ends when a Supreme Court ruling makes segregation on public buses unconstitutional. Despite the hardships she experienced, Georgia persevered, eventually opening her own restaurant, which became a hub for Black community organizing. Christie’s vivid acrylic paintings propel the narrative with a fine balance of pathos and power. The straightforward text uses food as an extended metaphor to underscore Georgia’s tenacity and African American people’s hunger for equality and justice.

Young readers will find much food for thought in this inspiring profile of a lesser-known civil rights leader. (notes, author’s note, sources) (Picture book biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5247-2064-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 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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