Covering everything from trailblazing pilots to exceptional artists to infamous bandits, these titles are sure to inspire students and get them thinking about some of their favorite figures of the past and present.
This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
Kraft, Betsy Harvey. The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris. illus. by Steven Salerno. 42p. bibliog. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627790727. LC 2014044914.
Gr 1-3–The planners of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair were looking for a spectacular, extraordinary, and never-before-seen attraction that would draw in huge crowds. The idea they eventually accepted was George Ferris’s huge observation wheel—what we now call the Ferris wheel. An amazing and awe-inspiring crowd-pleaser, the wheel was 264 feet […]
How many ways can you tell the story of someone’s life? These titles prove that there are truly countless approaches, as they cover the lives of great artists, scientists, writers, and more.
This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
Here’s a collection of picture-book biographies that introduces musicians and fine artists to children. The authors and illustrators have created engaging, child-friendly profiles that will hopefully lead readers to explore and seek out other materials about these amazingly talented individuals.
This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
Superb choices for sharing aloud or reading independently, picture book biographies make useful starting points for investigations of subjects that span the curriculum. This year’s selections includes artists, activists, and an aviatrix.
Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson. Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster. 2013. Personal copy. One of my “vacation reads” — books for the grown ups, reviewed around holidays, when you may want to take time off from reading young adult books. It’s About: Sylvia Plath before […]
Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder. HarperCollins. 2013. Personal Copy. Vacation reads — when I review not-teen books that people may be interested in reading! It’s About: In June, 1953, Sylvia Plath was a guest editor for the fashion magazine, Mademoiselle. The guest editor program was prestigious. The […]
A picture book that focuses on Albert Einstein’s intellect hrough the concepts that puzzled and excited him. Check out SLJ’s starred review.
The task for educators is not to drain this sense of open-ended exploration from student-fans but rather to make sure that it is accompanied by the Jiminy Cricket-like voice of critical literacy…
Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People By Susan Goldman Rubin Abrams Books for Young Readers $21.95 ISBN: 978-0-8109-8411-0 Ages 10 and up On shelves now National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th. How many folks could tell you that off the top of their heads? Meanwhile, few awards are specifically […]
SLJ Talks to Author Andrea Cheng: Her latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter | Under Cover
Author Andrea Cheng’s latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter, a 19th-century slave who became an accomplished artist.
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal. Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. 2012. Review copy from publisher. Finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. It’s About: A biography of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, Inc. The Good: Reading books like Bomb, Titanic or We’ve Got a Job […]
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős By Deborah Heiligman Illustrated by LeUyen Pham Roaring Brook (an imprint of Macmillan) ISBN: 978-1-59643-307-6 Ages 6 and up On shelves June 25th Make a beeline for your local library’s children’s biography section and learn firsthand the shocking truth about picture book bios of […]
Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices by Leonard S. Marcus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. Review copy from publisher. It’s About: Madeleine L’Engle, beloved author of A Wrinkle In Time (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1962). The Good: How to write a biography of Madeleine L’Engle, especially when so many people […]
GOLIO, Gary. Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey. illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. 48p. bibliog. discography. further reading. websites. Clarion. 2012. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-23994-1.
Gr 4-6–A well-conceived marriage of art and text breathes life and passion into this picture biography. Swirling strokes of vibrant colors give the book an almost cinematic quality, animating Coltrane’s passionate journey from a joyous, nurturing early childhood with a loving extended family to the despair of losing too many loved ones in a short time. The […]
PARKER, Marjorie Blain. Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse. illus. by Holly Berry. 32p. further reading. CIP. Dial. Nov. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3758-7. LC 2011035446.
Gr 2-5–This picture-book biography covers Matisse’s entire life but focuses on his career aspirations and achievements. The straightforward text takes a lighthearted approach by including details such as young Henri’s dream of becoming a magician and his skill with a peashooter. Berry’s illustrations are the star of the show; dignified black-and-white drawings […]
Readers of this season’s biographies can expect to travel through time to meet characters from long ago, investigate various careers by meeting stars of today, and be inspired to invent and create.