Lively, lucid, and timely.



Updated for a modern audience, the pre-eminent first lady’s views on what government is and does and why having a voice in it all matters.

The female and nonwhite firefighters, garbage collectors, public officials, and jurors in Lin’s bright, racially and gender-diverse illustrations—not to mention references in the narrative to calling 911, to “alderpersons,” and “selectpeople”—were likely not in the original 1932 edition. It’s easy, though, to hear Roosevelt, or at least her voice, in the pellucid descriptions of how local, state, and national governments are organized and the kinds of services they are charged with providing, both in the common-sense tone (“What seems good to you might not be good for the rest of the nation”) and in the inspirational message: “Marking your ballot is one of the most important—and exciting—things you’ll ever do.” Also at least partly new are descriptive notes about each amendment to the Constitution and each position in contemporary presidents’ cabinets, plus an eye-opening explanation of how electoral results can be manipulated through gerrymandering (using “blue” and “purple” voters as examples). Further comments by Roosevelt on citizenship and a brief biography focusing on her causes and character lead in to a short but choice set of more detailed sources of information about her life and work.

Lively, lucid, and timely. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-879-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Go adventuring with a better guide.


From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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The artwork of this brief look at the Himalayas has a charm that the text struggles to reflect.



A quick visit through the mountain range that features some of the world’s highest peaks.

Snowy peaks rear up in the backgrounds in Beorlegi’s jewel-toned illustrations, but the visual focus is consistently at their feet—on towns, temples, dark-skinned residents in shimmering work or festival garb beneath strings of fluttering prayer flags, and flora and fauna in verdant landscapes. In the randomly ordered series of, mostly, locale-based spreads, the author offers terse descriptions of Durbar Square in Kathmandu and the Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, links Rishikesh along the upper Ganges to the practice of yoga, spotlights the snow leopard in a section on the Indian state of Arunchal Pradesh, and ultimately brings the tour to an abrupt end by rhapsodizing over Kailash, a mountain considered so sacred to several religious traditions that climbers are not allowed. The art’s saturated colors are eye-catching, but along with producing an occasional line more overblown than lyrical (“In a monumental effort to reach the stars, these mountains became the highest…”), the author opaquely characterizes Nepal as a “gateway” between India and China. She also mistakenly claims that pagodas are largely associated with Hindu worship and devotes a spread to Tibetan ethnic groups without actually identifying any of them. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The artwork of this brief look at the Himalayas has a charm that the text struggles to reflect. (map) (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-914519-28-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orange Mosquito

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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