FICTION

Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic

illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 48p. Candlewick. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763668419.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 2–5—From the team responsible for Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France (Candlewick, 2015) comes another excellent picture book biography, this time about someone less well known but truly intriguing. Adelaide Herrmann (1853–1932) never wanted to be like other girls: she was determined to stand out and dazzle the world. She secretly joined a dancing troupe, scandalizing family and friends. When that got old, the young woman learned to ride a bicycle, which eventually led to her meeting and marrying Alexander Herrmann, aka Herrmann the Great, a famous magician. Addie began working as Alexander's assistant and took over the act when he died. Life was never ordinary again. Rockliff tells Addie's story with panache, the words bouncing across the page, with varying sizes and typefaces to highlight and emphasize important ideas. Bruno's pencil and digitally colored illustrations are a homage to another time, with individuals and scenes made to look like cutout paper dolls and layered onto backgrounds. A detailed author's note provides further details about Herrmann's life and story, which was lost to the world for a long time.
VERDICT Picture book biographies about groundbreaking women are always welcome, and this one is sure to please readers, young and old.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.