SHE SANG PROMISE

THE STORY OF BETTY MAE TIGER JUMPER, SEMINOLE TRIBAL LEADER

Short poetic stanzas join jewel-toned illustrations to sing the satisfying story of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper. Deep in the Everglades in the 1920s, Seminole tribal leaders threatened to throw this young daughter and granddaughter of medicine women into the swamp for the “bad spirits” of her white father. Her family fled to the Dania Reservation, where she grew up and acquired the Mission faith she combined with traditional beliefs. Seeking an education, she left Florida and became a nurse, but she returned to serve her people. She returned truants to school and helped set up a tribal council and a newspaper. Her election to tribal leadership in 1967 was a remarkable achievement in her male-dominated culture, and she continues to sing stories of her people today. The design of this attractive, chronological biography reflects the subject. A column of text on a natural fabric background accompanies each of Desimini’s paintings; their rounded shapes and glowing colors reveal interesting details of Seminole life. A glossary serves as the index to pictures and text. (afterword from her son, map, chronology, further facts, author’s note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4263-0592-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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THE FANTASTIC UNDERSEA LIFE OF JACQUES COUSTEAU

This second early biography of Cousteau in a year echoes Jennifer Berne’s Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (2008), illustrated by Eric Puybaret, in offering visuals that are more fanciful than informational, but also complements it with a focus less on the early life of the explorer and eco-activist than on his later inventions and achievements. In full-bleed scenes that are often segmented and kaleidoscopic, Yaccarino sets his hook-nosed subject amid shoals of Impressionistic fish and other marine images, rendered in multiple layers of thinly applied, imaginatively colored paint. His customarily sharp, geometric lines take on the wavy translucence of undersea shapes with a little bit of help from the airbrush. Along with tracing Cousteau’s undersea career from his first, life-changing, pair of goggles and the later aqualung to his minisub Sea Flea, the author pays tribute to his revolutionary film and TV work, and his later efforts to call attention to the effects of pollution. Cousteau’s enduring fascination with the sea comes through clearly, and can’t help sparking similar feelings in readers. (chronology, source list) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-375-85573-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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