J Is for Judy: Classic Hollywood’s Leading Ladies from A to Z

Doubleday. Oct. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593565186.
K-Gr 4–Allman and Emmerich’s latest collaboration continues the magic found in A Is for Audra and B Is for Broadway. This newest book focuses on the early leading ladies of the silver screen. Incorporated throughout are actresses like Joan Crawford, Rita Moreno, and Judy Garland, as well as women who worked behind the scenes as directors, producers, and cinematographers. Women of color, including Hattie McDaniel and Anna May Wong, are also highlighted. While following the format of an alphabet book, the text takes a few liberties by using last names or the word “experts” for X, but that does not take away from the joy and flow of the book. The caricature art lends a sophisticated whimsy to the simple text. Each page is a work of art that could stand alone as an homage to the featured actress. Younger readers will enjoy the illustrations and simple text. Older readers will love digging deeper into the lives of new-to-them actresses through the brief biographies in the back and the suggested movies in the descriptions on each page.
VERDICT A fun new addition for the biography section; purchase where the previous books are popular.

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