A beautiful, relevant picture book with some design problems.

JUSTICE IS...

A GUIDE FOR YOUNG TRUTH SEEKERS

Adults love to talk about justice, but what does the word actually mean?

In this picture book, author Bharara, former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, defines justicethrough an early-childhood lens. According to Bharara, justice requires hard work, collaboration with diverse groups of people, curiosity, and courage. Each double-page spread features a different individual or moment from the history of justice in the U.S. People spotlighted in Cornelison’s admiring, soft-edged illustrations include contemporary leaders like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; historical heroes like Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth; and social justice collectives like the Movement for Black Lives. The book’s text is clear and fluid, and the simple, direct language makes this a good resource for young readers. The examples of injustice, which include the World War II–era internment of Japanese Americans, the Trail of Tears, and the Holocaust, are episodes in world history that are essential to remember, but their placement is confusing: Their abrupt juxtaposition with successful social justice movements and leaders makes them feel like non sequiturs. Adults reading this with children should be prepared to give them context. Additionally, the terse captions, set in white on gray, are very difficult to read. Brief notes in the backmatter provide a few sentences of context for most of the leaders and/or episodes depicted. These design issues are unfortunate flaws in an otherwise important, impassioned book. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A beautiful, relevant picture book with some design problems. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-17662-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Preschool and school-age kids will enjoy this dash through history; here’s hoping they won’t reject the “baby book” format.

V IS FOR VOTES!

A SUFFRAGETTE ALPHABET

An alphabetical list of diverse suffragists, landmark events, important ideas, and more, commemorating the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States.

Two to three letters of the alphabet and a corresponding figure, event, or concept are presented on each double-page spread using the headings typical for ABC books: “A is for amendment” or “D is for Declaration of Sentiments,” for instance. These are accompanied by a couple of sentences of explanation and an illustration against a red-and-white or purple-and-white background. Relatively well-known historical figures appear, such as Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, but surprisingly, there is no mention of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The inclusion of unsung suffragists is a welcome sight, including Zitkála-Šá, a Yankton Dakota Sioux advocate for Native American suffrage, Nina Allender, a White political cartoonist, and Hattie Redmond, a Black organizer for suffrage in Oregon. Using a Disney-esque style and deep, bold colors, the art is accessible and fresh. A few modern children are included to illustrate concepts such as “Equal,” which depicts a diverse quartet of children, one of them using a wheelchair. Much of the information is painfully brief and, at times, undercuts some of the subjects; Alice Paul is here noted for sewing a flag with a star for each state that approved the 19th Amendment, but she did significantly more than act as a suffragist Betsy Ross. The board format is an odd choice for the content since much of this will go over the heads of babies and toddlers who may not even know what voting is.

Preschool and school-age kids will enjoy this dash through history; here’s hoping they won’t reject the “baby book” format. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5037-5461-4

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Sunbird Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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An attractive book marred by factual mistakes.

TINY TRAVELERS COLOMBIA TREASURE QUEST

From the Tiny Travelers series

In this new addition to the Tiny Travelers series, young readers learn a few facts about Colombia.

Following the same format as previous books in the series, the book begins with a map of the country adorned with objects readers are asked to look for on subsequent pages. Busy and brightly colored illustrations depict each locale with a cast of racially diverse children. Readers travel to Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Ciudad Perdida on the northern Caribbean Coast; pass through Bahía Solano on the Pacific Coast and down to the Amazon region in the south; visit the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, and Manizales in the Andes; and see natural wonders, such as the Tatacoa Desert and Caño Cristales. In each locale a small fact is given, and a “Did You Know?” section provides more details. Words in Spanish are in bold print. Unfortunately, a few facts are wrong. Contrary to what is stated, Bogotá is not in a valley and is not surrounded by mountains. (Mountains border its eastern edge, and the land opens up to a vast plateau known as the Bogotá savanna.) Caño Cristales is not called “the River of Seven Colors” but “the River of Five Colors.” (This review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An attractive book marred by factual mistakes. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-945635-80-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Encantos

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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