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Review of Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe

blumenthal_fancy party gowns

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal; 
illus. by Laura Freeman Primary    Little Bee    40 pp. 1/17    978-1-4998-0239-9    $17.99    g While the fashion world continues to recognize her work, many do not know the name Ann Cole Lowe. Blumenthal and Freeman have teamed up to place the spotlight […]

Review of Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

Six Dots

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant; illus. by Boris Kulikov Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-449-81337-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-449-81338-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81339-3    $10.99 Bryant and Kulikov present the childhood of Louis Braille, from his 1809 birth to his invention, at fifteen, of his ingenious six-cell raised-dot system of […]

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day (Viking, 7–9 years) by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a loving tribute to an iconic picture-book character, Peter — one of the first African American children in picture books — and his creator, Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator […]

Dreaming big

little-people-big-dreams

As a child, I loved reading biographies of famous women. I wanted strong, nuanced, and passionate women to look up to, and I found them throughout history. They were writers, politicians, explorers, and so much more, and learning about them allowed me to imagine a broad future for myself. The Little People, Big Dreams primary […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

pinkney_poem-for-peter

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Review of Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy

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Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson; 
illus. by Edel Rodriguez Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93330-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93331-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93332-9    $10.99 Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” reminds us: “You can spin a dreidel / with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock — both Jewish!” Michelson delves a little deeper […]

Review of Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature

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Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott; illus. by Christy Hale Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-082-6    $17.99 This peppy picture book biography of nature photographer Ansel Adams describes an “antsy” young boy whose propensity to get into trouble was allayed only by being in the great outdoors. Sonorous language, including […]

Review of Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-58089-673-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-825-2    $9.99 Growing up in Mexico, Juan Garcia Esquivel got an earful of mariachi, but he wanted to create his own sound. Self-taught and persistent, he was playing piano at a radio station at […]

Recommended Picture Books: Picture Book Biographies

barton_whoosh

Barton, Chris  Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Charlesbridge Illustrated by Don Tate. Barton follows African American inventor Johnson, from his childhood tinkering through winning first place at a 1968 science fair, attending Tuskegee Institute, engineering for NASA, and developing a super-blast water gun. Barton describes Johnson’s ups and downs […]

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 […]