From beginning to end, fans will feel connected to the dynamic style of the Globetrotters and how they influenced American...

SWISH!

THE SLAM-DUNKING, ALLEY-OOPING, HIGH-FLYING HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

A lively look at the history of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Five serious African American basketball players with no opportunity to play in the top teams due to the racism of the 1920s took their basketball skills on the road, calling themselves the Harlem Globe Trotters (they became the Globetrotters sometime in the ’30s). White America had a hard time coping with the Trotters’ beating their teams—until the Trotters changed the way they played. They turned their games into theatrics, emphasizing slapstick and hilarity while at the same time honing their skills till “they played the most breathtaking, groundbreaking ball the country had ever seen.” In 1948, Globetrotters finally got an opportunity to challenge the Minnesota Lakers, the best team in the Whites-only NBA. The Globetrotters’ win caused the entire NBA to reconsider their recruitment policy. Slade has done careful, thorough research, easily engaging young readers as they learn about the Globetrotters’ groundbreaking history. Veteran illustrator Tate creates constant movement, visually underscoring the title with dynamic (sometimes impossible) perspectives and basketballs caught in stop-motion fashion as they fly across the court. Robust backmatter bolsters the account, including a detailed timeline that’s thoughtfully printed on the inside pages of the endpapers so that pasted-down jacket flaps will not obscure any of it.

From beginning to end, fans will feel connected to the dynamic style of the Globetrotters and how they influenced American history. (further information, artist’s note, selected sources, photos) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-48167-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived.

SURVIVOR TREE

A remarkable tree stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared.

Through simple, tender text, readers learn the life-affirming story of a Callery pear tree that grew and today still flourishes “at the foot of the towers.” The author eloquently describes the pre-9/11 life of the “Survivor Tree” and its heartening, nearly decadelong journey to renewal following its recovery from the wreckage of the towers’ destruction. By tracking the tree’s journey through the natural cycle of seasonal changes and colors after it was found beneath “the blackened remains,” she tells how, after replanting and with loving care (at a nursery in the Bronx), the tree managed miraculously to flourish again. Retransplanted at the Sept. 11 memorial, it valiantly stands today, a symbol of new life and resilience. Hazy, delicate watercolor-and–colored pencil artwork powerfully traces the tree’s existence before and after the towers’ collapse; early pages include several snapshotlike insets capturing people enjoying the outdoors through the seasons. Scenes depicting the towers’ ruins are aptly somber yet hopeful, as they show the crushed tree still defiantly alive. The vivid changes that new seasons introduce are lovingly presented, reminding readers that life unceasingly renews itself. Many paintings are cast in a rosy glow, symbolizing that even the worst disasters can bring forth hope. People depicted are racially diverse. Backmatter material includes additional facts about the tree.

A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived. (author's note, artist's note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-48767-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Essential reading about essential workers that is informative, reassuring, and positive.

KEEPING THE CITY GOING

An award-winning New York City author/illustrator thanks all the risk-taking essential workers.

In the first days, weeks, and months of the Covid-19 pandemic, life on city streets changed from busy congestion to an eerie quiet. Two children, looking concerned, gaze out from their apartment-house window at a strangely empty scene. Almost the only souls about are delivering food on bikes, hauling flats in supermarkets, or driving buses, trains, and taxis. Sanitation workers, letter carriers, and utility workers continue their work on and under the streets. Firefighters, police officers, and hospital workers are busy. Diverse apartment-house dwellers play their appreciative part, though. Every evening at 7:00 they erupt into a cacophony: noisily cheering, banging pots, and blowing musical instruments. “We are here together.” The narration is in the voice of a very observant child who has not lost their sense of humor, voicing some doubts about a nonessential online purchase. A community spirit shines in the use of we. Floca’s signature illustrations offer meticulously detailed renditions of city buildings and a wide assortment of urban vehicles. Everyone is properly masked. The evening cheers have stopped, but the gratitude has not. The story was first developed as a YouTube video, and here the sound effects are missing, but they can be easily and enthusiastically added by young readers. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 64.9% of actual size.)

Essential reading about essential workers that is informative, reassuring, and positive. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9377-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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