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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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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A loving homage to the last baseball clown.



Max Patkin had a very long and rewarding career in baseball, but it wasn’t in the way he originally planned.

He was a good-enough pitcher to earn a place in the minor leagues. In 1942 he was sidelined by an injury and joined the Navy. After surgery he was good to go: to Hawaii to play baseball with other professional players as a way of entertaining the troops. He played with and against the likes of Pee Wee Reese and Joe DiMaggio. When DiMaggio hit a very long home run against him, Max followed him around the bases, mimicking his motions and garnering laughs and cheers from players and spectators. After the war he played in the minors again, but injuries ended his playing days. But his comic routines were remembered, and he was asked to perform at exhibition games all over the country. Everyone seemed to love his over-the-top slapstick and hilarious performances. Vernick displays warm affection for Patkin, describing his antics in amusing anecdotes that are followed by quoting his signature line, “True Story!” Bower’s colorful cartoons manage to capture the essence of Max’s goofy appearance and all-out efforts to elicit every bit of fun he could invent in the game he loved so much. It was a different time.

A loving homage to the last baseball clown. (author’s note, sources) (Picture book/ biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-81377-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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