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Children's LiteratureAfrican-American photographer, Gordon Parks, was told by his mother, "What a white boy can do, you can too—and no excuses." That was the theme of Park's life as he taught himself to be a photographer, joined the staff of Life magazine, and chronicled history with his camera. The encouraging text about Parks' life is lost with the accompanying photographs and illustrations. There is no explanation or date of what the reader is viewing. The illustrations are interspersed in the book to demonstrate a scene from the text. They, like the photographs, are not labeled, or even representative to the times they are trying to portray. (An illustration of a woman holding a copy of Life magazine has a modern hairstyle and is sitting on a wooden chair. She is supposed to be riding a train in the 1930s.) There is no index, bibliography, or timeline. This would not be helpful for reports. 2006, Pelican Publishing Company, Ages 5 to 9.
—Joyce R. Laiosa