An exuberant and heartfelt travelogue extraordinaire.

IN NEW YORK

A very personal tour of New York takes readers eastside, westside, uptown and down.

Although there is a hint of homage to Miroslav Sasek’s classic This Is New York, Brown makes it fresh and new and gets it just right, with a little history, a little geography, some mind-boggling statistics and the familiar iconic sights. It’s not orderly in its approach, as New York is essentially an eclectic mix of people, sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Beginning with his very first view of the city and his determination to make it his home, he catalogs the things he loves about it. He zooms through the Broadway theater district, the top of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and more, including lesser-known places like the High Line and not forgetting the subway system. With pauses to address hunger pangs, Brown offers interesting tidbits about the vast variety of food available. He employs breezy, conversational language, speaking directly to his audience, telling them of the wonders and adventures that the city offers, inviting them to come and see it for themselves. The detailed illustrations and endpaper sketches are rendered in layers of watercolors and gouache that glow brightly with joy and vitality and demand to be viewed over and over, always to find new delights.

An exuberant and heartfelt travelogue extraordinaire. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: March 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-375-86454-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS

Clark-Robinson celebrates the ways in which women have opened doors for the girls and women coming after them.

Two women, one elderly and one younger, sit a girl down with tea and photographs to tell her stories of how “our mothers and all those who’ve gone before, / paved a freer path and opened a wider door.” The walls of this Black family’s home are covered in framed photographs of diverse historical and contemporary women who made their marks in the worlds of art, sports, politics, and more. As the women encourage the girl to “speak [the] names” of those who came before and recognize that they stand on the shoulders of those women, the art transitions from their home to full spreads showing the heroes in action. Toward the end, as the text repeats praise for the women leaders, the art shows the family framing a photograph of themselves and hanging it on the wall, placing them in the line of strong women as the question is posed to the girl: “Who will stand on YOURS?” Many of the icons in the images will be recognizable to informed readers, overlaying the text’s general message onto specific examples of excellence. Backmatter provides a sentence introducing each figure beneath her portrait, offering an opportunity for readers to “speak their names.” Though perhaps overly hopeful in its depiction of women’s unity across racial lines, this book achieves the effect of an intergenerational embrace. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

Uplifting. (author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35800-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Successful neither as biography nor sermon.

I AM ABRAHAM LINCOLN

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

Our 16th president is presented as an activist for human and civil rights.

Lincoln resembles a doll with an oversized head as he strides through a first-person narrative that stretches the limits of credulity and usefulness. From childhood, Abe, bearded and sporting a stovepipe hat, loves to read, write and look out for animals. He stands up to bullies, noting that “the hardest fights don’t reveal a winner—but they do reveal character.” He sees slaves, and the sight haunts him. When the Civil War begins, he calls it a struggle to end slavery. Not accurate. The text further calls the Gettysburg ceremonies a “big event” designed to “reenergize” Union supporters and states that the Emancipation Proclamation “freed all those people.” Not accurate. The account concludes with a homily to “speak louder then you’ve ever spoken before,” as Lincoln holds the Proclamation in his hands. Eliopoulos’ comic-style digital art uses speech bubbles for conversational asides. A double-page spread depicts Lincoln, Confederate soldiers, Union soldiers, white folk and African-American folk walking arm in arm: an anachronistic reference to civil rights–era protest marches? An unsourced quotation from Lincoln may not actually be Lincoln’s words.

Successful neither as biography nor sermon. (photographs, archival illustration) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4083-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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