As stimulating as sea air itself, this story will surely send the salt water coursing through the veins of its readers.

DARE THE WIND

THE RECORD-BREAKING VOYAGE OF ELEANOR PRENTISS AND THE FLYING CLOUD

A lively, true story about a 19th-century woman and the 15,000-mile sailing journey she navigated.

With animated language full of the vigor of the sea itself, Fern relates the story of Ellen Prentiss Creesy, who, while growing up in Marblehead, Mass., was taught to both sail and navigate by her sea-captain father. Later, Ellen accompanied her husband, also a sea captain, on many voyages as navigator. Ellen’s husband was given command of the Flying Cloud, a clipper ship whose 1851 maiden voyage—from New York City around the tip of Cape Horn to San Francisco—aspired to bring passengers and cargo to the Gold Rush more quickly than had ever been done before. With Ellen as navigator, the Flying Cloud endured storms and doldrums to triumph in its record-setting voyage. McCully’s expertly rendered watercolor illustrations evoke, in double-page spreads, the rich atmosphere of the sea in all its moods, while many events are shown as round vignettes—as though seen through a spyglass. Off-kilter horizon lines conjure up the motion of the ship at sea, and sailing-savvy readers will appreciate the accurate depiction of all things nautical. Endpapers showing the Flying Cloud’s sailing route orient readers to the huge scope of the voyage.

As stimulating as sea air itself, this story will surely send the salt water coursing through the veins of its readers. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-31699-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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An emotional entry point to a larger, necessary discussion on this complex and difficult subject.

A JOURNEY TOWARD HOPE

The paths of four migrant children from different Central American countries cross as they enter Mexico, and together they continue their journey to the United States.

Though their reasons for undertaking the perilous journey are different, their hopes are not: They all hope for asylum in the U.S. Ten-year-old Alessandra, from Guatemala, hopes to reunite with her mother, who left four years ago. Thirteen-year-old Laura and her 7-year-old brother, Nando, from El Salvador, are going to live with relatives in the U.S. And 14-year-old Rodrigo, from Honduras, will try to join his parents in Nebraska rather than join a local gang. Along the way they encounter danger, hunger, kindness from strangers, and, most importantly, the strength of friendship with one another. Through the four children, the book provides but the barest glimpse into the reasons, hopes, and dreams of the thousands of unaccompanied minors that arrive at the U.S.–Mexico border every year. Artist Guevara has added Central American folk art–influenced details to her illustrations, giving depth to the artwork. These embellishments appear as line drawings superimposed on the watercolor scenes. The backmatter explains the reasons for the book, helping to place it within the larger context of ongoing projects at Baylor University related to the migration crisis in Central America.

An emotional entry point to a larger, necessary discussion on this complex and difficult subject. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64442-008-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Six Foot Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Utterly compelling.

WHEN I WAS EIGHT

The authors of Fatty Legs (2010) distill that moving memoir of an Inuit child’s residential school experience into an even more powerful picture book.

“Brave, clever, and as unyielding” as the sharpening stone for which she’s named, Olemaun convinces her father to send her from their far-north village to the “outsiders’ school.” There, the 8-year-old receives particularly vicious treatment from one of the nuns, who cuts her hair, assigns her endless chores, locks her in a dark basement and gives her ugly red socks that make her the object of other children’s taunts. In her first-person narration, she compares the nun to the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, a story she has heard from her sister and longs to read for herself, subtly reminding readers of the power of literature to help face real life. Grimard portrays this black-cloaked nun with a scowl and a hooked nose, the image of a witch. Her paintings stretch across the gutter and sometimes fill the spreads. Varying perspectives and angles, she brings readers into this unfamiliar world. Opening with a spread showing the child’s home in a vast, frozen landscape, she proceeds to hone in on the painful school details. A final spread shows the triumphant child and her book: “[N]ow I could read.”

Utterly compelling. (Picture book/memoir. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55451-490-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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