Reviews for Picture Book of Cesar Chavez


Booklist Reviews 2010 July #1
The selfless struggles of labor leader Chavez are given a tempered and lucid treatment in this educational overview. It only takes one page for the Adlers to zero in on the theme of inequality: "Chavez and others who helped put food on Americans' tables often had no tables of their own, no real homes." After losing their farm in the Great Depression, the Chavez family headed west, living an itinerant lifestyle as they moved from farm to farm--and shuttling young Cesar among 65 different elementary schools. The book's focuses mainly on Chavez's later fights for better wages and safer working conditions. Three of his hunger strikes are described, though Olofsdotter keeps her illustrations gentle and ennobling. The characters are drawn in an intentionally stiff style that fits with the depth-challenged folk art backgrounds, most of which are dominated by the color of sand. The text, meanwhile, is peppered with quotes from Chavez, all of which are backed up with source notes. An elegant introduction to a man who inspired thousands. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Using quotes from their subject's autobiography, the Adlers tell an abbreviated life story of Cesar Chavez, from migrant farm work in childhood through his life of activism to his death in 1993. Olofsdotter's warm-hued illustrations reflect the man's heritage and commitment to his cause. The book's source notes and other ancillary material are excellent. Timeline, websites. Bib. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 July #1

In their umpteenth biography for younger audiences (albeit the first featuring a figure of Latino descent), the Adlers focus almost entirely on highlights of Chavez's youth and public career as a labor leader but also convey a clear sense of his strong social conscience and his deeply rooted commitment to nonviolence. Likewise, in Olofsdotter's stylized paintings, he and other figures are pictures of dignity and restraint, stiffly posed and showing only small, subtle signs of emotion. Though the presentation of historical events and the character portrait sketched here seem low key next to the more vivid, even passionate likes of Kathleen Krull's Cesar Chavez: Harvesting Hope (illustrated by Yuyi Morales, 2003) or Carmen T. Bernier-Grand's Cesar: Sí, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can! (illustrated by David Diaz, 2004), and the bibliography's contents are older than the book's audience in both age and level, this is still a sturdy, worthwhile addition to the series and a primary look at a significant mover and shaker in our country's social history. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 August

Gr 2-4--Adler and his son, Michael, have collaborated to produce another respectable addition to the biography series the senior Adler began years ago. Those owning Kathleen Krull's Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (Harcourt, 2003), a standout biography of Chavez for this age group, will still want to consider this title because of its slightly different bent. While Krull emphasizes Chavez's younger years that inspired him to become an activist and focuses on the 1965 grape pickers boycott and the 300-mile march that resulted in the first farm workers' contract, the Adlers' book includes those events, but provides a more linear approach. It covers Chavez's life from birth to death, providing important facts, such as the posthumous award of the Congressional Medal of Freedom, not mentioned in Krull's title. Olofsdotter's lively, earth-toned illustrations extend the text.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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