Dull narrative and crude illustrations tell us Coleman struggled to be an aviator.
This book's complete lack of dramatization, worsened by crude artwork that shows no character, offers us little sense of Bessie Coleman's character or of her struggle to be an aviator. Bessie Coleman led quite a life. She deserves better.
On Sweetbriar Island, Natalie pities and helps the starving wild horses to survive a cold winter.
Natalie reminisces about a year in her childhood on Sweetbriar Island. With little effort she helped ten wild horses struggle through a particularly cold and snowy winter. While admirable that she loved the horses, she was mainly an observer. The story has only the sense of valuing that she has for the horses. There is too little virtuous action to say it has a plot, to make the story worthy.
A granddaughter has many happy memories of her grandmother, who frequently gave her keepsakes that become precious to her when she became an adult.
A grandmother and granddaughter have a close relationship. Grandma gives the girl numerous keepsakes, "because everyone wants to be remembered." Despite Bosak's good (and well awarded) intentions this focus turns the principle of remembrance upside down. It even risks instilling fear of loss, or 'remembrance guilt', rather than memories that advance a child's happiness. Perhaps reviewers were taken by the sentimentality.
Keller's life is told as a series of events using an age appropriate vocabulary, with an abundance of factual notes & related images.
MacLeod has presented accurate facts of Helen Keller's life that can be read smoothly and easily. Unfortunately it amounts to an uninspiring list of data & events, where Keller's difficult challenges are basically named and then, simply, overcome. The opening two paragraphs state the problems and the success Helen achieves. Illustrations appear crude and faces are nearly expressionless, evoking little reaction. Instead, consider Helen Keller: A Determined Life .
Grandpa unofficially joins the 1,000 mile cycling Tour of Sweden and, by violating several rules, finishes ahead of the younger competitors.
Sixty-six year old Gustaf cycled everywhere. His application to the Tour of Sweden is (wrongly) rejected because of age rather than ability. Gustaf trained & raced beside them anyway. In the story he starts with the competitors, and wins by sleeping less. In truth, he began several days earlier. He still became a national hero, as cycling that far was quite an accomplishment given his age. His character wipes out all values this story could have had.
Biography of Livingston's life in Africa, and his religious calling to explore it.
Livingstone's life is presented as one might describe a pair of shoes. Just as flat is the author's use of the present tense: we are told, "From the start, he loves Africa." No explanation given, he just does. A better Livingstone's biography should be reserved for older children able to make critical judgments concerning his (religious) motives.