From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–This handsome volume highlights 16 individuals who have worked to improve conditions for others through their words and actions. Included are writers, philosophers, Civil Rights advocates, and politicians, many of whom are Nobel Peace Prize recipients. The book focuses on celebrated individuals such as John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez, and Elie Wiesel. Also covered are those newer to recognition, such as Wangari Maathai, who works for conservation in Kenya, and Aung San Suu Kyi, who fights for democracy in Myanmar. The well-written, single-page vignettes provide an interesting glimpse into the lives of these people and will pique readers curiosity and encourage them to learn more. Each biography is surrounded by an eye-catching border and faces a full-page illustration and quote from the subject. Made from fabric, etchings, watercolor, and found objects, the collages reflect Zalbens interpretation of these individuals, and the appended notes explain the various symbols and materials in the pictures. For example, Mahatma Gandhis entry mentions his 1930 Salt March to end an unfair law, while the illustration depicts an abstract beach scene sprinkled with real sea salt, and Indian paper borders the text. The accomplished, vibrant artwork and the graceful narrative clearly express each persons character, approach to life, and accomplishments, making this an enticing introduction to a diverse group of peacemakers.–Hope Marie Cook, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 4-7. In one-page biographies, Zalben profiles 16 world peacemakers, ranging from Emerson, Gandhi, and King to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a political prisoner in Myanmar, who remains under house arrest. Beautiful collage borders frame the text, and opposite each biography is a full-page picture, a composition of watercolors, photography, cut paper, and found objects, that expresses the individuality of the activist. Zalben's brief, fascinating art notes at the back explain her choice of^B materials for each picture. The focus is very upbeat. In fact, the piece about Anne Frank gets downright mushy, and the picture for Princess Diana, a heart with roses and a beatific child, looks like a greeting card. Better are the illustrations for Chavez, a collage of parents and children picking crops under the sun, and for John F. Kennedy, a sailboat skimming an open sea under starry skies. Readers will be moved by Zalben's comments, which reveal that many of her subjects trace their activism from a challenge, an event, or individual they encountered during childhood. A glossary, a bibliography noting a few titles for each individual, and a list of general resources are appended. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved