A woman illustrates her daily life with painting and collage.

Winkler introduces herself to readers by her first name, Rita, and a double visual: A painted self-portrait and a photograph of herself holding it. “Do you think it looks like me?” she asks. This painting happens to be abstract, but as the narrative progresses, Winkler’s artistic styles display a sophisticated level of variety. A sun and moon form opposite halves of the same sphere; a lake features realistic composition with textured brush strokes; a glimmering winter landscape shows hillsides with stark trees, soft snowflakes, and a yellow-pink sky. Cut paper forms the blocks of a big city with sharp angles and lines. Winkler has Down syndrome, unmentioned by the text and art but noted on the back cover. Her handwritten words “I’m Rita” show up twice; her handwriting also appears in a spirited note she leaves by the phone to discourage “pesky telemarketers”: “we are not home Leve us olaone Thank You.” Winkler’s humor shines through in a speculation that perhaps some fish she sees while at her cashier’s job in a coffee house—fish carried by a customer in a baggie—might come from the same lake Winkler visits and might recognize her from there. For its art enthusiasm and stimulating variation of visual style, pair this with Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis’ Lily Brown’s Paintings (2007).

For all art bookshelves. (bio, websites) (Picture book/memoir. 3-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77260-214-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.


The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...


A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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