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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 […]

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 […]

Review of Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

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Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; illus. by Don Tate Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge   40 pp. 5/16    978-1-58089-297-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-640-1    $9.99 From childhood, African American inventor Johnson was a tinkerer: 
“Lonnie loved building and creating. Ideas for inventions just kept on flowing.” We learn about how young Lonnie made model […]

Chris Barton on Whoosh!

barton_whoosh

In our July/August 2016 issue, senior editor Elissa Gershowitz chatted with author Chris Barton about his new picture book biography Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. Read the full review. Elissa Gershowitz: What is one of the challenges and/or rewards of writing a picture-book biography of a contemporary figure? Chris Barton: One big reward […]

Review of Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong

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Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome; 
illus. by James Ransome Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-8234-3428-2    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3598-2    $16.95 Today’s child may know Louis Armstrong only as the trumpeter of “What a Wonderful World” or as a character in an old movie; the Ransomes’ newest […]

Arts and letters

novesky_cloth lullaby

STEM’s great and all, but these picture-book biographies — about two fine artists, a musician, and a wordsmith — show that a career in arts and letters can be more than just a dream. In Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, Amy Novesky presents an exquisite portrait of modern artist Louise Bourgeois, who […]

Review of You Never Heard of 
Casey Stengel?!

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You Never Heard of 
Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter; illus. by Barry Blitt Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    
40 pp. 3/16    978-0-375-87013-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97013-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-375-98748-9    $10.99 Winter’s latest baseball book (You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, rev. 3/09; You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, rev. 1/13) hits the shelves just […]