Review: ¿Qué Haces Con Una Voz Así? (What do you do with a voice like that?)

¿Qué Haces Con Una Voz Así?
Author: Chris Barton
Translator: Carmen Tafolla
Illustrator: Ekua Holmes
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)
Ages 4-8

This picturebook biography of Barbara Jordan, who some argue was the Nation’s first LGBTQ+ Representative in Congress, is a serviceable account of Jordan’s career highlights as thematically encapsulated around her significant, powerful voice. Note, voice stands in proxy here for not only the tone, timber and strength of Jordan’s powerful speech, but also the eloquence, charm, and brilliant intelligence she so easily manifested.

Holmes’ illustrations are vivid, layered and powerful. Bright colors interspersed within dark hues pop calling-out the reader’s attention to certain aspects. While a layering/collage technique is employed adding texture to otherwise static pages.

Tafolla’s translation into Spanish is technical, precise and adequate. It lacks, however, any of the passion conveyed by Jordan in life, or by the book’s evocative title. And, in all honesty, the font selected for the text does not help in readability.

There is an Easter Egg in the book. One easily missed unless you specifically know what you are looking for. Although there is no mention of Jordan’s association with the LGBTQ+ community, you will find Jordan seated playing the guitar next to her Partner of 20+ years, Nancy Earl, on a bench near the middle of the book. The character beside her is quite definitely Earl as the likeness cannot be accidental.

One would think that a 20 year relationship should be more explicitly recognized.

¿Qué haces? (Support an Independent Bookstore)*
¿Qué haces? (Amazon)*

My thanks to Beach Lane Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

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*When something is purchased using one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept any monies for any editorial reviews. Our opinions, to the chagrin of many, are our own.

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