A winning tribute to an important game-changer—with points off for its discordant pictorial representation.



Macy illuminates the pioneering sportswriter’s 50-year career.

One of three daughters, Garber was introduced to sports by her father. She quarterbacked football with boys, created a lively family newspaper instead of writing letters to relatives, and pursued newspaper work after college. A society reporter at Winston-Salem’s Twin City Sentinel, Garber got a career break during World War II. With the male sportswriters gone, her editor assigned her the sports pages. Garber soon moved to sports for good, covering competitive contests from football to marbles. Macy’s clear, anecdotal writing is backed with solid research and documented quotations. She highlights Garber’s coverage of Jackie Robinson and demonstrates that Garber made inroads too, reporting on games at North Carolina’s segregated African-American schools. She overcame her own discriminatory roadblocks as a woman barred from press boxes and locker rooms. Macy clearly connects Garber’s determination, talent, and sense of fair play with deserved recognition: she garnered a host of awards and widespread admiration. Payne’s otherwise handsome mixed-media illustrations present Garber in caricature—far more so than other figures. The artist disrespects Macy’s respectful narrative, depicting the petite Garber as an unchangingly childish figure throughout, with owlish round glasses, outsize head and ears, and scrawny neck.

A winning tribute to an important game-changer—with points off for its discordant pictorial representation. (author’s note, acknowledgements, chronology, resources, sources, notes) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-0120-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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An early reader that kids will want to befriend.


In an odd-couple pairing of Bear and Chipmunk, only one friend is truly happy to spend the day at the beach.

“Not me!” is poor Chipmunk’s lament each time Bear expresses the pleasure he takes in sunning, swimming, and other activities at the beach. While controlled, repetitive text makes the story accessible to new readers, slapstick humor characterizes the busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations and adds interest. Poor Chipmunk is pinched by a crab, buried in sand, and swept upside down into the water, to name just a few mishaps. Although other animal beachgoers seem to notice Chipmunk’s distress, Bear cheerily goes about his day and seems blithely ignorant of his friend’s misfortunes. The playful tone of the illustrations helps soften the dynamic so that it doesn’t seem as though Chipmunk is in grave danger or that Bear is cruel. As they leave at the end of the book Bear finally asks, “Why did you come?” and Chipmunk’s sweet response caps off the day with a warm sunset in the background.

An early reader that kids will want to befriend. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3546-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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