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Review of The Great Antonio

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The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Richard Kutner Primary    TOON    64 pp. 10/16    978-1-943145-08-9    $12.95 TOON Books continues to reinvent the easy reader with this biography of eccentric strongman Antonio Barichievich, a Croatian-born showman who became a Montreal legend. Fact, speculation, and tall tale mingle in […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

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Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

Javaka Steptoe on Radiant Child

Radiant Child

In our November/December 2016 issue, reviewer Lolly Robinson spoke with author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe about his personal connection to the subject of new biography Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Read the full starred review. Lolly Robinson: You and your father, John Steptoe, were both artists in NYC when Basquiat was working. Did […]

Review of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Radiant Child

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-21388-2    $17.99 Picture books about artists are tricky. Should the illustrator mimic the subject’s style, or instead attempt to capture his or her essence? Steptoe does a little of both in this introduction […]

Trailblazers in the arts

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The following books highlight groundbreaking figures in the arts and society at large: a beloved author of children’s books and witty (and useful) works for adults; a folksinger who stood strong for his beliefs; a graffiti artist turned fine artist; and a little-known turn-of-the-twentieth-century female magician. In Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White, […]

Review of Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis

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Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim; illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-16856-7    $16.99    g John Lewis, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was a member of the “Big Six” during the 1963 March on Washington and went on to solidify his […]

Presidential biographies

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Brennan, Linda Crotta  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner Goddu, Krystyna Poray  George Washington’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner Rowell, Rebecca  John F. Kennedy’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner Wittekind, Erika  James Madison’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner Presidential Powerhouses series. […]

Melissa Sweet Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Melissa Sweet has illustrated biographies of a number of historical figures — Horace Pippin (A Splash of Red), William Carlos Williams (A River of Words), Peter Mark Roget (The Right […]

Review of Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White

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Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    164 pp. 10/16    978-0-544-31959-2    $18.99    g Salutations! Sweet raises her collage skills to new heights while bringing her love and admiration for fellow Mainer E. B. White to the page for everyone to appreciate. Just as […]

Review of Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide 
Herrmann, Queen of Magic

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Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide 
Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff; 
illus. by Iacopo Bruno Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp. 4/16    978-0-7636-6841-9    $17.99 Rockliff and Bruno (Mesmerized, rev. 1/15) bring the now-all-but-forgotten female magician Adelaide Herrmann back to center stage. Bold and spunky, Addie, in Rockliff’s strikingly vivid depiction, was […]