A worthy candidate for your shelf.

MAYOR PETE

THE STORY OF PETE BUTTIGIEG

From the Who Did It First? series

From childhood to office to who-knows-where? Be inspired by the life of Pete Buttigieg.

For politically minded readers, Sanders and Hastings provide a concise account of the life and political career of the mayor-turned–presidential candidate. Sanders, an elementary school teacher, knows how to communicate effectively with children and delivers his text in a friendly mix of easy and more-complex sentences. While the majority of the text is written directly, the occasional folksy metaphor adds a little buoyancy. When introducing Buttigieg’s future husband, Chasten Glezman, Sanders states that “like Indiana sweet corn, a relationship began to grow.” Hastings’ digital illustrations capture the humanity of his subject and depict the highs and lows of a life in politics. Many of the illustrations appear to be inspired by photographs of Buttigieg on the campaign trail and in his daily life. While the attention is solely on Mayor Pete, the background artwork features a range of ages, ethnicities, and genders interacting and engaging with Buttigieg. There is no mention of his fraught relationship with South Bend’s African American population, and his stint with McKinsey is covered in one sentence; the book ends before his March 1 withdrawal from the 2020 presidential race. The backmatter includes a timeline, selected bibliography, information about running for president, and (most importantly) a pronunciation guide for “Buttigieg.” Young readers curious about the ongoing political race will find this to be a useful book to help them learn more about this former (and possibly future) presidential hopeful.

A worthy candidate for your shelf. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26757-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal.

JUST LIKE JESSE OWENS

Before growing up to become a major figure in the civil rights movement, a boy finds a role model.

Buffing up a childhood tale told by her renowned father, Young Shelton describes how young Andrew saw scary men marching in his New Orleans neighborhood (“It sounded like they were yelling ‘Hi, Hitler!’ ”). In response to his questions, his father took him to see a newsreel of Jesse Owens (“a runner who looked like me”) triumphing in the 1936 Olympics. “Racism is a sickness,” his father tells him. “We’ve got to help folks like that.” How? “Well, you can start by just being the best person you can be,” his father replies. “It’s what you do that counts.” In James’ hazy chalk pastels, Andrew joins racially diverse playmates (including a White child with an Irish accent proudly displaying the nickel he got from his aunt as a bribe to stop playing with “those Colored boys”) in tag and other games, playing catch with his dad, sitting in the midst of a cheering crowd in the local theater’s segregated balcony, and finally visualizing himself pelting down a track alongside his new hero—“head up, back straight, eyes focused,” as a thematically repeated line has it, on the finish line. An afterword by Young Shelton explains that she retold this story, told to her many times growing up, drawing from conversations with Young and from her own research; family photos are also included. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal. (illustrator’s note) (Autobiographical picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-545-55465-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: today

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An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

MORE THAN PEACH

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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