cover image Brainjuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed!

Brainjuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed!

Carol Diggory Shields, C. Shields, R. Thompson. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-1-929766-62-8

American history comes alive in a variety of informational titles. Carol Diggory Shields condenses history into 41 short poems in Brainjuice: American History Fresh Squeezed!, illus. by Richard Thompson, beginning with, appropriately, ""The First,"" a ditty about dinosaurs (""The first Americans who roamed the prairie/ Were kind of big and kind of scary"") and ending with ""The Lady,"" a paean to the Statue of Liberty, which Shields casts as witness to the destruction of the World Trade Center. Poems about the Wright brothers, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and ""The Great War"" (WWI) are among the poems that fall along the timeline that runs at the top of the pages. Thompson, a political cartoonist, offers appropriate doses of humor and poignancy.