Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/la juez que creci en el Bronx

Jonah Winter, Author, Edel Rodriquez, Illustrator , illus. by Edel Rodriguez. S&S/Atheneum $16.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0303-1

Winter (Barack ) offers an impressionistic, at times repetitive, bilingual biography of Supreme Court justice Sotomayor. The author explains that Sotomayor's mother, raising her two children in the South Bronx, “worked night and day, day and night” to support them and pay their private school tuition after their father died, “leaving just an empty chair and much sadness.” Determined to become a judge, Sotomayor also worked hard: “while other kids may have been goofing off, Sonia was studying at her mother's kitchen table—year after year after year after year.” Though it effectively conveys Sotomayor's personality and accomplishments, Winter's conversational narrative rambles; of her Supreme Court nomination, he writes, “This was huge (Gulp.) There had never been a Latin American on the Supreme Court. How strange this was!” Rodriguez's (Sergio Makes a Splash! ) mixed-media illustrations feature chalky textures, gauzy coloring, and sketchy linework, providing competent portraits of Sotomayor and President Obama in a palette of grassy greens and terra cotta that particularly bring to life scenes from her Bronx childhood. An author's note offers additional details about Sotomayor's life. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)