Hair today, gone tomorrow.

GET UP, ELIZABETH!

Nearly buried beneath fantastically abundant billows of red hair, a small, yawning princess is pulled from bed.

She submits with relative meekness (“No, I’m sorry Elizabeth, / No mouse in your skirt!”) to having her stockings tied on, her teeth rubbed with soot, sleeves and ruff attached to a gown over her wide petticoat, and finally her hair wrestled into shape—all just in time to be presented with a regal bow to an all-white crowd of likewise bowing retainers. Mouse aside, the whole procedure has a stilted formality that is only intensified by the elegantly restrained details of Tudor-style dress and interiors visible in the illustrations. Though its rhyming and scansion could use work, Bridges’ verse captures a chivvying tone that seems appropriate considering how the princess is being respectfully but briskly hustled along by her seldom-seen lady’s maid. But the scene-stealing hair seems to have all the character here, as the stiff, silent child’s face is either hidden or largely expressionless. In lieu of source notes the author offers a few scattered observations about Elizabethan fashion and behavior at the end, and Marley’s interiors are evidently likewise generic rather than based on those of Hatfield House, where Elizabeth I grew up. Readers might take up the implied invitation to compare their own morning toilettes or perhaps imagine enjoying the royal routine themselves. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 79% of actual size.)

Hair today, gone tomorrow. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-944903-94-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits.

ELIZABETH STARTED ALL THE TROUBLE

Rappaport examines the salient successes and raw setbacks along the 144-year-long road between the nation’s birth and women’s suffrage.

This lively yet forthright narrative pivots on a reality that should startle modern kids: women’s right to vote was only achieved in 1920, 72 years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Indeed, time’s passage figures as a textual motif, connecting across decades such determined women as Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone. They spoke tirelessly, marched, organized, and got arrested. Rappaport includes events such as 1913’s Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C., but doesn’t shy from divisive periods like the Civil War. Faulkner’s meticulously researched gouache-and-ink illustrations often infuse scenes with humor by playing with size and perspective. As Stanton and Lucretia Mott sail into London in 1840 for the World Anti-Slavery Conference, Faulkner depicts the two women as giants on the ship’s upper deck. On the opposite page, as they learn they’ll be barred as delegates, they’re painted in miniature, dwarfed yet unflappable beneath a gallery full of disapproving men. A final double-page spread mingles such modern stars as Shirley Chisholm and Sonia Sotomayor amid the historical leaders.

Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits. (biographical thumbnails, chronology, sources, websites, further reading, author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7868-5142-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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