An intriguing look into the early 20th century that features a strong female hero and—most importantly—dinosaurs.

A DINOSAUR NAMED RUTH

HOW RUTH MASON DISCOVERED FOSSILS IN HER OWN BACKYARD

“Ruth Mason was forever curious about her own backyard.”

In 1905, near her family’s log home in South Dakota, a 7-year-old White girl named Ruth Mason found her first dinosaur bone. Accessible text bubbles with enthusiasm and provides a straightforward narrative while colorful illustrations show the bright-eyed, full-bodied heroine who continues to search for and find bones on the prairie, undeterred by the lack of interest of those around her. Unlike those of her English parallel, Mary Anning, Ruth Mason’s discoveries went unrecognized; despite the numerous letters she wrote to various institutions, no one came to investigate until a dinosaur hunter visited her ranch while Mason was in her 80s and drew attention to what she’d found. Multiple digs followed, and now many specimens are featured in museum collections, including one in Wales known simply as “Ruth.” The endnotes explain the difficulties of finding information and obtaining an education during this period but do not mention the additional challenge of being a girl interested in science, which would have further highlighted her uniqueness. Still, this is an inspiring tale of resilience and dedication, a paean to the art of performing a task for its own sake, and a most interesting addition to the world of dinosaur hunting. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An intriguing look into the early 20th century that features a strong female hero and—most importantly—dinosaurs. (further reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7464-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world.

GRANDMA'S GARDENS

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.

Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate’s mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy’s wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer’s translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11535-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more