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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2016 #121/ Reviews: Big Word Biographies

25 May

nfpb2016

I love discovering series in nonfiction picture books especially if at first they don’t seem like they are. One of my Reading Challenges this year was to read all of Doreen Rappaport’s Big Word Biographies.

These books are hard to miss since they all have eye-catching illustrations. Other cool things I’ve enjoyed about these books are the author and illustrator notes as well as the acknowledgements. The provide glimpses of what went behind the scenes from inspiration, research and test audiences.

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore RooseveltTo Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
C.F. Payne’s image of a laughing Theodore Roosevelt taking up the whole front cover of the book will surely grab people’s attention. With more eye-catching illustrations inside, Doreen Rappaport’s equally beautiful and captivating text, and quotes from the former president, this is a nice picture book to springboard to know more about Theodore Roosevelt.
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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Moments in MLK Jr.’s life are paired with big words that helped shape his beliefs and that he shared with others. Beautiful collage illustrations add to the appeal of this picture book as well as insightful author and illustrator’s notes and a brief timeline. While not comprehensive, this definitely is a must-have.
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Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick DouglassFrederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
WOW! It’s absolutely humbling to read about Frederick Douglass. He didn’t let anything get in the way of bettering himself and making sure the world was not the unfair place he was born into but a place where everyone was treated equal. I definitely need to check out his autobiography.

The illustrations were incredible as well.

And, I didn’t realize Doreen Rappaport’s amazing biographies were part of her Big Words series. I’ll definitely read them all!
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John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John LennonJohn’s Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn’t really feel a connection with this book. I loved the merging of text, images and lyrics though.

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Jack's Path of Courage: The Life of John F. KennedyJack’s Path of Courage: The Life of John F. Kennedy by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Inspiring profile of a man who made a difference despite difficult situations, personal struggles, and high expectations from others. I can see how he was able to convince others to realize a future he envisioned.
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Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham LincolnAbe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Beautiful illustrations and words, especially quotes directly from Abraham Lincoln makes this a wonderful addition to any library. Hopefully it’ll get readers to seek out more of the Lincoln’s words and inspire them to fight for what is right.
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Eleanor, Quiet No MoreEleanor, Quiet No More by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow! What a lady! I wish more people and not just political figures were known more for their words and actions of doing good and making differences than their recent social media feuds and promotional stunts. It’s great to read about a political figure who went out and about and did things rather than just sit behind a desk and play the part.
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Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen KellerHelen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
How can one complain when someone like Helen Keller was able to accomplish something much despite her situation? One must seriously reconsider if their problem is really insurmountable or just something they really don’t want to solve. I didn’t know about Helen Keller performing years. And what amazing dedication Annie Sullivan had. I hope people write about her as much.
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3 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2016 #121/ Reviews: Big Word Biographies

  1. annettepimentel

    May 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I only knew a few of these! I love that she uses great quotations within the text. And the art, as you point out, is gorgeous.

     
  2. Linda Baie

    May 25, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I didn’t know there was a series either, Earl. I’ve read about Martin, Frederick and Helen and enjoyed each. I will certainly look for the others, too.

     
  3. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye)

    May 25, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for showing us all of these! I loved Lennon and MLK by her, but I haven’t read the others.

     

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