48 Booklist August2017 www.booklistreader.com
bald eagles, from their biology to past endangered status. A heartwarming account of
STEM in action. —Julia Smith
Bound by Ice: A True North Pole
By Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich
Sept. 2017. 192p. illus. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95
(9781629794280). 919. Gr. 5–8.
Extensively researched and illustrated with
engravings and paintings, this account of the
1879 Arctic voyage of the
Jeannette serves as an excellent example of how to
piece together an intriguing story from a variety of
sources. When the
Jeannette was sent to explore
the Arctic area accessible
north from the Bering
Strait, little was truly known about the farthest reaches of the sea. Theories held that
once past the ice shelves, warm tropical waters eddied around the North Pole, and that
there might even be inhabitable land to discover. George Washington De Long, a U.S.
Navy captain, aimed to head the expedition
that would add a new depth of knowledge
to the world. It was not to be. Along with
his crew, he instead faced two torturous
years of severe weather, and the Jeannette was
doomed to be crushed by ice. A trek across
hundreds of miles to Siberia ensued, but not
all of the crew made it—that any did was
sheer luck. Despite all this, however, the records of what the Jeannette’s crew did find,
was important and added to prior knowledge. Readers of historical adventure will be
drawn to the story and appreciate the crew’s
bravery. —Karen Cruze
Danza! Amalia Hernández and El
Ballet Folklórico de México.
By Duncan Tonatiuh. Illus. by the author.
Aug. 2017. 32p. Abrams, $18.95 (9781419725326).
792.8092. Gr. 2–4.
In his latest picture-book biography,
Tonatiuh celebrates the work of Amalia
Hernández, the dancer, instructor, and choreographer who founded
the Ballet Folklórico de
México in 1952. Born
in Mexico City in 1917,
Ami was enthralled as
a child by dancers in
a town square. Growing up, she studied
both ballet and modern dance. After choreographing a piece
based on the street performers who first inspired her, she began to travel throughout
the country and learn its local, indigenous
dances. These led her to choreograph many
distinctive pieces for the Ballet Folklórico,
which has traveled the world performing
ballets based on Mexican traditional dances.
The text also links Mexican folkloric dance
Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of
to Cinco de Mayo festivities in the U.S.
Right down to the endpapers, this beauti-
fully designed, large-format picture book
is a showcase for Tonatiuh’s distinctive il-
lustrations, drawings with digital collage
elements that add colors, patterns, and tex-
tures to strong, well-delineated forms. An
interesting author’s note, a useful glossary,
and a source bibliography are appended.
This concise, informative biography includes
compelling details, such as Ami’s father’s
initial resistance to her learning dance, and
mentions that although Hernández died in
2000, her ballet company still performs in
Mexico and throughout the world. Brava!
By Chris Barton. Illus. by Victo Ngai.
Sept. 2017. 36p. Lerner/Millbrook, lib. ed., $19.99
(9781512410143). 940.4. Gr. 1–4.
It might seem counterintuitive to paint
bold, eye-catching patterns on ships aiming to pass safely through U-boat-infested
waters, but as Barton and Ngai’s informative
picture book demonstrates, that unconventional choice was a daring stroke of genius.
During WWI, Britain’s warships were routinely targeted by German U-boats, and the
Royal Navy was desperate for a way to avoid
Germany’s attacks. Norman Wilkinson’s
groundbreaking patterns—not quite camouflage, but painting the ships in a way that
makes their movements hard to detect—
fooled even the most experienced sailors,
and the navy employed cadres of art students
to design more dazzles. Ngai’s swirling, art
nouveau–style illustrations replicate some of
the bold shapes and designs on the so-called
dazzle ships, and the soft colors and stylized
figures nicely soften the wartime theme and
focus attention to the vessels. Barton adds
plenty of historical context, illuminating
other naval defense schemes of the period, as
well as the role of women in creating dazzle
patterns. An author’s note, time line, and
photos of the ships round out this inspiring
story of creativity. —Sarah Hunter
The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving
the African Penguins.
By Sandra Markle.
Sept. 2017. 48p. illus. Lerner/Millbrook, lib. ed., $30.65
(9781512413151). 598.47. Gr. 4–6.
In this companion book to The Great
Leopard Rescue (2016) and The Great Monkey Rescue (2015), Markle discusses the
two-century decline of African
penguins. First, the
guano that sheltered their nests
was taken for fertilizer. Next, their
eggs were stolen
and sold for food.
Modern fishing practices decimated their
Miguel’s Brave Knight: Young
food supplies and, more recently, climate
change has shifted their feeding grounds far-
ther out to sea. The book’s dramatic focus is
the extraordinary response to a catastroph-
ic oil spill off the coast of South Africa in
2000, when an astonishing 45,000 volun-
teers helped rescue the penguins by cleaning
oil from their feathers, from the ocean, and
from the beaches where they live, as well as
moving whole penguin colonies and caring
for abandoned chicks. A dependable sci-
ence writer for kids, Markle offers a lucid,
well-organized text, telling a story that is en-
gaging as well as informative. Drawn from
many sources, well-chosen photos appear
on every page of the book and illustrate the
text very effectively. As few creatures are as
photogenic as penguins or adorable as their
chicks, the illustrations also heighten inter-
est in the birds’ plight. A vivid introduction
to African penguins, their remarkable res-
cue, and their still precarious existence.
Cervantes and His Dream of Don
By Margarita Engle. Illus. by Raúl
Oct. 2017. 32p. Peachtree, $17.95 (9781561458561).
811. Gr. 3–6.
Fifteen brief poems introduce readers to
the early life of Don Quixote author Miguel
de Cervantes. Through themed verses, Engle
emphasizes the stories told by Cervantes’
mother that sparked his
imagination; the hunger
his family experienced
after Miguel’s father was
sent to debtor’s prison;
Miguel’s pleasure whenever he was able to attend
school; and his daydreams about a brave,
helpful knight that helped him to anticipate a
better future. Engle’s poems are lyrical yet direct, each describing a single significant event.
“Disaster,” for example, addresses the plague:
“No school. / No teacher. / No books. /
Just sorrowful / prayers. / But I still carry invisible stories / in my head, my daydreamed
tales / help calm / my worries.” Colón’s pen,
ink, and watercolor illustrations (inspired by
the prints of Gustav Doré) accompany every poem, bringing Engle’s words into sharp
focus. Some depict actual places and events,
while others represent scenes from Cervantes’
novel. The use of a limited palette (earth tones
with blue and yellow accents) and distinctive
costuming will help readers to better appreciate the sixteenth-century Spanish setting.
Author and illustrator notes (as well as historical and biographical information) further
clarify Cervantes for the intended audience.
An intriguing, lightly fictionalized introduction to an iconic author, this will encourage
readers to learn more about the first modern
novel. —Kay Weisman