Next book



A candid yet tender glimpse at a bleak chapter in U.S. history.

Star Trek actor and activist Takei looks back on a childhood marked by war and injustice, transformed by parental heroes.

Takei was 4 years old in 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Soon after, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, decreeing that Japanese American people be imprisoned in concentration camps. Takei and his parents and younger siblings were forced to leave their home in Los Angeles and live in a series of camps—first at the Santa Anita racetrack and later at Camp Rohwer, Arkansas, and Tule Lake, California. Takei offers an unflinchingly honest, child’s-eye view of these events: stalls stinking of horse manure and filled with bugs and germs, sweltering barracks guarded by sentry towers with armed soldiers. Mindful, though, of young readers’ sensibilities, he interweaves moments of levity and escape: movie nights, a baseball league, a dog named Blackie, a snowball fight, and more. His parents’ courage shines through, too: Mama transforming their dismal surroundings into a home; Daddy serving as manager of their block. Lee’s mixed-media illustrations depict children in brightly colored outfits set against backgrounds of earth tones and deep blues to capture readers’ attention and underscore the individuality of the imprisoned citizens. Lee also inserts visual details to complement Takei’s evocative text. An author’s note details the harassment Takei’s family experienced as they rebuilt their lives in L.A.

A candid yet tender glimpse at a bleak chapter in U.S. history. (glossary and pronunciation guide, photographs) (Picture-book memoir. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 16, 2024

ISBN: 9780593566350

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

Next book


A supplemental rather than introductory book on the great artist.

Frida Kahlo’s strong affection for and identification with animals form the lens through which readers view her life and work in this picture-book biography.

Each two-page spread introduces one or more of her pets, comparing her characteristics to theirs and adding biographical details. Confusingly for young readers, the beginning pages reference pets she owned as an adult, yet the illustrations and events referred to come from earlier in her life. Bonito the parrot perches in a tree overlooking young Frida and her family in her childhood home and pops up again later, just before the first mention of Diego Rivera. Granizo, the fawn, another pet from her adult years, is pictured beside a young Frida and her father along with a description of “her life as a little girl.” The author’s note adds important details about Kahlo’s life and her significance as an artist, as well as recommending specific paintings that feature her beloved animals. Expressive acrylic paintings expertly evoke Kahlo’s style and color palette. While young animal lovers will identify with her attachment to her pets and may enjoy learning about the Aztec origins of her Xolo dogs and the meaning of turkeys in ancient Mexico, the book may be of most interest to those who already have an interest in Kahlo’s life.

A supplemental rather than introductory book on the great artist. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4269-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Next book


Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

Close Quickview