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Children's LiteratureIn case anyone still doubts that women can be capable, contributing citizens, Kupchella hammers home this point in awkward, forced rhyme telling the stories of Sandra Day O'Connor, Sally Ride, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Young Jackie "was the fastest runner around" who "blew past all the kids in the town." Young Sandra helped her dad "however she could" and "when she grew up . . . she got really good." Young Sally "could add & subtract all her numbers" and knew the names "of the guys who played for the Dodgers." Rhymes like these are the reason so many editors refuse to read rhyming manuscripts. (At times the verse has obvious echoes of Dr. Seuss's infinitely more successful Oh, the Places You'll Go!) But the inspirational thoughts here feel mainly preachy and condescending. The jacket flap gushes that this is a "message that will never grow old," but it has (thankfully) been old for several decades now. 2004, Tristan, Ages 4 to 8.
—Claudia Mills, Ph.D.