An elegant, insightful portrait of an artist worth knowing.

ROSA’S ANIMALS

THE STORY OF ROSA BONHEUR AND HER PAINTING MENAGERIE

This handsomely designed and illustrated biography grandly introduces the most famous Western female artist of her time.

The sexist conventions of the 19th century denied Rosa Bonheur a formal art education, but she was undeterred from pursuing her passions. Bonheur’s artist father undertook her training as a painter and allowed her to pursue her interest in painting animals by bringing live models to the family’s studio. By age 19, Bonheur saw her work accepted into the prestigious Salon de Paris and soon became internationally renowned as a painter and sculptor of domestic and wild animals. Her unconventional study habits included visiting slaughterhouses to sketch anatomy and disguising herself as a man to enter events such as horse fairs, which were forbidden to women. A passionate lover of animals and nature, Bonheur kept three lions as pets. She was also admired by heads of state and international celebrities; Empress Eugénie convinced her husband, Louis-Napoleon, to make Bonheur the first woman to receive the Legion of Honor. Impressionists, however, criticized her work as too realistic. Macdonald skillfully puts Bonheur’s life and work in cultural and historical context, discussing in detail some of the artist’s most famous works, including The Horse Fair and Ploughing in the Nivernais. Throughout the text and on the case covers are beautiful reproductions of Bonheur’s work and historical ephemera.

An elegant, insightful portrait of an artist worth knowing. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-14)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2850-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with...

WRITING RADAR

USING YOUR JOURNAL TO SNOOP OUT AND CRAFT GREAT STORIES

Advice on writing from one of the best writers around.

“I’m a writer and I’m on your side,” Gantos says, as if he’s putting an arm around a young writer’s shoulder and guiding them through a door to a new life. With a snappy voice, his own funny ink drawings, and expertise drawn from a career full of great books, he covers just about everything: where to find ideas and characters, how to structure a story, why to keep a journal, and even what to write with. Every step of the way he includes examples from his own writing. As humorous as he is, Gantos is authoritative and serious about his craft, careful to include every building block for constructing a good story—characters, setting, problem, action, crisis, resolution, and the need for a double ending (physical and emotional). Chapter 2 (“Getting Started”) ought to be read by all teachers and parents: it’s a manifesto on how to raise a reader (and writer) by reading aloud excellent picture books to young children and placing good books in the hands of children as they get older, and he offers a handy list of just what some of those books should be. While his list of picture books is not a particularly diverse one, the middle-grade titles suggested are nicely inclusive.

A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with Jack. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30456-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...

SHE DID IT!

21 WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK

Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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