A winning tribute to an important game-changer—with points off for its discordant pictorial representation.



Macy illuminates the pioneering sportswriter’s 50-year career.

One of three daughters, Garber was introduced to sports by her father. She quarterbacked football with boys, created a lively family newspaper instead of writing letters to relatives, and pursued newspaper work after college. A society reporter at Winston-Salem’s Twin City Sentinel, Garber got a career break during World War II. With the male sportswriters gone, her editor assigned her the sports pages. Garber soon moved to sports for good, covering competitive contests from football to marbles. Macy’s clear, anecdotal writing is backed with solid research and documented quotations. She highlights Garber’s coverage of Jackie Robinson and demonstrates that Garber made inroads too, reporting on games at North Carolina’s segregated African-American schools. She overcame her own discriminatory roadblocks as a woman barred from press boxes and locker rooms. Macy clearly connects Garber’s determination, talent, and sense of fair play with deserved recognition: she garnered a host of awards and widespread admiration. Payne’s otherwise handsome mixed-media illustrations present Garber in caricature—far more so than other figures. The artist disrespects Macy’s respectful narrative, depicting the petite Garber as an unchangingly childish figure throughout, with owlish round glasses, outsize head and ears, and scrawny neck.

A winning tribute to an important game-changer—with points off for its discordant pictorial representation. (author’s note, acknowledgements, chronology, resources, sources, notes) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-0120-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.


If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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