A book worthy of the statue herself.



Lady Liberty’s arrival almost didn’t happen.

Intended as a 100th-birthday gift from France, the statue was the brainchild of a French judge who envisioned a symbol of friendship between the two nations and hired sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to create it. After choosing its New York Harbor site, he fashioned numerous, ever larger models and chose copper for its light weight. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel devised an “iron skeleton” to support Liberty, and then the completed statue was exhibited in Paris; parts of it had already been shown in the States. A pedestal was designed—with no funds to build it. Nonetheless, Bartholdi had the statue’s pieces shipped in crates to America nine years after the centennial. Finally, Joseph Pulitzer successfully encouraged Americans to donate; Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” was initially written as a fundraiser. In a crowded field, Byrd’s signature narrative and artistic styles elevate this effort. Pages with type set in newspaperlike double columns feature outsized, capitalized headlines and datelines denoting years and places. Spreads include masterly ink-and-watercolor illustrations with details that invite readers to pore over artwork. The author’s awestruck writing, featuring punchy, taut sentences, makes for fast-paced reading, as do dramatic page turns, and it emphasizes the grandeur of the enterprise; fascinating, quirky facts abound. In most illustrations, persons default white.

A book worthy of the statue herself. (measurements, timeline, facts about the statue and historical figures, author’s note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3082-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity.



Renowned achievers go nose-to-nose on fold-out pages.

Mixing contemporary celebrities with historical figures, Corbineau pairs off his gallery of full-page portraits by theme, the images all reworked from photos or prints into cut-paper collages with highly saturated hues. Gandhi and Rosa Parks exemplify nonviolent protest; Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie are (mostly) commended for their work with impoverished people; and a “common point” between Gutenberg and Mark Zuckerberg is that both revolutionized the ways we communicate. The portraits, on opposite ends of gatefolds, open to reveal short biographies flanking explanatory essays. Women and people of color are distinctly underrepresented. There are a few surprises, such as guillotined French playwright Olympe de Gouges, linked for her feminism with actress Emma Watson; extreme free-fall jumper Felix Baumgartner, paired with fellow aerialist record-seeker Amelia Earhart; and Nelson Mandela’s co–freedom fighter Jean Moulin, a leader of the French Resistance. In another departure from the usual run of inspirational panegyrics, Cornabas slips in the occasional provocative claim, noting that many countries considered Mandela’s African National Congress a terrorist organization and that Mother Teresa, believing that suffering was “a gift from God,” rarely gave her patients painkillers. Although perhaps only some of these subjects “changed the world” in any significant sense, all come off as admirable—for their ambition, strength of character, and drive.

Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity. (map, timeline) (Collective biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7643-6226-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable...



An extraordinary athlete was also an extraordinary hero.

Gino Bartali grew up in Florence, Italy, loving everything about riding bicycles. After years of studying them and years of endurance training, he won the 1938 Tour de France. His triumph was muted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Mussolini followed Hitler in the establishment of anti-Jewish laws. In the middle years of the conflict, Bartali was enlisted by a cardinal of the Italian church to help Jews by becoming a document courier. His skill as a cyclist and his fame helped him elude capture until 1944. When the war ended, he kept his clandestine efforts private and went on to win another Tour de France in 1948. The author’s afterword explains why his work was unknown. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, honored him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2013. Bartali’s is a life well worth knowing and well worthy of esteem. Fedele’s illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages.

What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard. (photograph, select bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-063-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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