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Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch

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30 review for Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    Fail! I knew that my “year of no picture books” would fail since Patricia Polacco has a new picture book coming out this October, but I was hoping that would be my only lapse. I found out about this book just today from an email and it was so appealing to me that I checked to see if I could borrow a library e-copy and I was able to get a Kindle edition. 4-1/2 stars – a half star off because I was a bit discomfited by the end and parts toward the end, though the note at the end helped me feel bett Fail! I knew that my “year of no picture books” would fail since Patricia Polacco has a new picture book coming out this October, but I was hoping that would be my only lapse. I found out about this book just today from an email and it was so appealing to me that I checked to see if I could borrow a library e-copy and I was able to get a Kindle edition. 4-1/2 stars – a half star off because I was a bit discomfited by the end and parts toward the end, though the note at the end helped me feel better. In the book proper it seemed sort of sad and not quite pointless but I sort of wondered what we were celebrating. I found the story inspirational and interesting. The language is lyrical and beautiful. I adored the art. I loved it so much that I’d be happy to have it up on my walls. I couldn’t rate the art more highly. Wonderful colors and details and fun to peruse. I never knew about this woman or this beach and I’m glad to have learned of it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

    As I was drawn into the story I was both inspired and amazed, and left wondering, "How have I not heard this story before? How many more stories like this are out there? Who will tell them?" As I was drawn into the story I was both inspired and amazed, and left wondering, "How have I not heard this story before? How many more stories like this are out there? Who will tell them?"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Fabulous picture book bio of someone that I had never heard of before, but now I'm glad I have. Loved the art (enough that I'm looking up the illustrator's other works) and we learn from a note at the end that a lot of the choices were made very deliberately and thoughtfully. This would be a great read when talking about important women, important Black Americans, or even just environmentalism. The text was well-edited and concise instead of being chunks of text on each page - this makes it so m Fabulous picture book bio of someone that I had never heard of before, but now I'm glad I have. Loved the art (enough that I'm looking up the illustrator's other works) and we learn from a note at the end that a lot of the choices were made very deliberately and thoughtfully. This would be a great read when talking about important women, important Black Americans, or even just environmentalism. The text was well-edited and concise instead of being chunks of text on each page - this makes it so much more accessible to a range of ages. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a children's picture book written by Heidi Tyline King and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. It centers on an unsung American hero who used her voice to preserve the natural spaces she loved. MaVynee Betsch was an American environmentalist and an activist. She was better known as The Beach Lady, because she spent the better part of her adult life educating the public on the black history and environmental import Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a children's picture book written by Heidi Tyline King and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. It centers on an unsung American hero who used her voice to preserve the natural spaces she loved. MaVynee Betsch was an American environmentalist and an activist. She was better known as The Beach Lady, because she spent the better part of her adult life educating the public on the black history and environmental importance of American Beach. King's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. King crafts musical prose, skillfully connecting Betsch's musical career with her love of the beach. Backmatter includes an author's and illustrator's notes. Caldecott Honoree Holmes' art, rendered in acrylic and collage, incorporates patterns created from handmade stencils and stamps, resulting in richly multilayered illustrations. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It profiles MaVynee Betsch, a Black opera singer who devoted herself to maintaining American Beach, which her great-grandfather bought during the Jim Crow era to make it open to everyone. When her mother falls ill, Betsch returns to Florida and, remembering the deteriorated beach’s better days, sets out to protect it, protesting the construction of condos by living there, writing letters to lawmakers, and petitioning the president. All in all, Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a spectacular story about a little-known eco-warrior whose story should be told and retold.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    A gem! This is the story of how a talented, unique, and determined lady spearheaded a movement to save a very special beach. We need more biographies of African-American defenders of the environment. This one is perfect for a tie-in with Black History, Earth Day, or just because.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aolund

    A moving and informative biography of Black opera singer and environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. Ekua Holmes' illustrations are incredible as always. White author, Black illustrator. A moving and informative biography of Black opera singer and environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. Ekua Holmes' illustrations are incredible as always. White author, Black illustrator.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I love when picture books teach me something about history that I had no clue about. This book made me want to visit American Beach in Florida, which is now part of the National Park Service for being a beach that Black Americans could visit during the Jim Crow era.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    A lovely children's book -- the story, the illustrations, the theme. Mavynee Betsch is one of those unsung heroes we never learn about in school. She was a successful opera singer who returns home to find the beach of her childhood (American Beach) covered in litter and encroached upon by development. The story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Heartbreaking that we seem to care so little for our natural environment -- uplifting in that one (1) person can make a difference. Mavynee Betsch did A lovely children's book -- the story, the illustrations, the theme. Mavynee Betsch is one of those unsung heroes we never learn about in school. She was a successful opera singer who returns home to find the beach of her childhood (American Beach) covered in litter and encroached upon by development. The story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Heartbreaking that we seem to care so little for our natural environment -- uplifting in that one (1) person can make a difference. Mavynee Betsch didn't save all of her beach, but she was successful in saving the tallest sand dune in Florida. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes -- multi-layered collage illustrations enhanced with acrylics. There are shells, trash, and musical notes skipping across the sand, but also a nod to Michelle Obama and some jazz music greats. Inspirational, informative for everyone! Enjoy!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Possible contender for the Mock Caldecott Award in January 2022. A biography of an environmentalist that I had no knowledge of and would like to read more about her. Mavynee Betsch loved the beach as a child even though she and her family never thought there should be a rope diving whites from colored. So, her dad bought a beach and everyone was welcome. When she got older she traveled and sang opera to entertain the world but she never lost her love of the beach. When she returned home, her fam Possible contender for the Mock Caldecott Award in January 2022. A biography of an environmentalist that I had no knowledge of and would like to read more about her. Mavynee Betsch loved the beach as a child even though she and her family never thought there should be a rope diving whites from colored. So, her dad bought a beach and everyone was welcome. When she got older she traveled and sang opera to entertain the world but she never lost her love of the beach. When she returned home, her family's beach had fallen into disrepair and she proceeded to fight to revitalize and maintain it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Otis Weah

    MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to late MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach.

  11. 4 out of 5

    V Dixon

    I love this book because it is timely with the Black family being rewarded the California beach that was taken from their ancestors in 1924. With this book, people of all ages can remember there is so much history that we still are learning. It is also a good book to have for Earth Day and other Environmental centric occasions. And for the upcoming and rising activist this book will add fuel to their desires to do good for the right reasons.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bookish

    Spectacular collage illustrations highlight the natural elements of MaVynee Betsch's biography. A fascinating peek into the life of an accomplished singer who turned her sights to environmental activism on behalf of a waterfront area her family had developed during the Jim Crow era. Spectacular collage illustrations highlight the natural elements of MaVynee Betsch's biography. A fascinating peek into the life of an accomplished singer who turned her sights to environmental activism on behalf of a waterfront area her family had developed during the Jim Crow era.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Beautiful collage work tells this important story of finding your voice and protecting Mother Earth.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This is an excellent biography accompanied by a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Beautiful illustrations and a moving story for children and adults.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katelynne

    Love Ekua Holmes's art as always. A good introduction, though I wish some of the backmatter had been included in the story. Love Ekua Holmes's art as always. A good introduction, though I wish some of the backmatter had been included in the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tallulah King

    So good!! The pictures are beautiful and tell a story

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    A gorgeous book about activism, civil rights, and the environment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    I love picture books about little-known people and events in history. This book is a delight!

  21. 4 out of 5

    N

    What a fascinating life trajectory- definitely leaves me wanting to know more

  22. 5 out of 5

    Oona

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lily Sweet

  24. 5 out of 5

    Keri

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ed

  26. 4 out of 5

    P

  27. 4 out of 5

    Judy Ripke

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  29. 5 out of 5

    Silvia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Burnap

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