A deeply reverent tribute.

SISTER CORITA'S WORDS AND SHAPES

A celebration of the art and singular artistic vision of Corita Kent.

One page is devoted to Kent’s childhood. Readers then meet her as an adult and read about her entry into the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent to become a nun. Emphasizing that she was a “nun, and a teacher, and an artist—all at the same time,” the text delves into what kind of teacher she was: unconventional, devout, and dynamic. Subsequent spreads are about the unique ways in which she taught her students to see the world. Feeling stifled by the archbishop’s disapproval of her methods, she leaves both convent and vocation, “finds peace,” and continues to paint: “Now her church is her vision.” Illustrations feature small vignettes done in Winter’s signature style and encased in ample white space, with occasional double-page spreads; they include the kind of colorful patterned backgrounds Kent was known for, many of them a series of dots. Kent’s tour through the city with students gives readers their perspective; children will look anew at details with an empty square as a finder, just as Kent had her students do. The book’s backmatter includes Kent’s 10 rules for her students (ending with “there should be new rules next week”), a note about her life, and a selected bibliography. All characters present White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A deeply reverent tribute. (Picture book/biography. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9601-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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

THURGOOD

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...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

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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