Matt Tavares Books
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text by Doreen Rappaport, illustrations by Matt Tavares

*starred review in The Horn Book Magazine
*starred review in School Library Journal
2013 ALA Notable Book

2016 California Young Reader Medal
2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award, Highly Commended
ABC Best Books for Children
2012 Oppenheim Platinum Award
2012 Oppenheim SNAP Award
2012 Entertainment Weekly Great New Historical Books for Kids
2012 Lupine Award
2012 Nerdy Book Award
2012 Kiddo Award finalist
2014 Amanda Bloomer Project
2015 Monarch Award (Illinois), master list
2014 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award, finalist
2014-15 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, finalist
2014-15 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Maryland), nominee

Big World: The Life of Helen Keller


Teacher's Guide, from Disney-Hyperion

This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller's life and legacy, making Helen's Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America, and the world, forever.


"Rappaport's text, interspersed with quotations from Keller, is perfectly attuned to the mind of a child. Tavares's paintings are steeped in emotion, especially in their depiction of young Helen's anguish and frustration. No child could read this book without imagining herself, as Helen put it, "in the still, dark world in which I lived." But it makes Helen's path to self-expression all the more resonant and inspiring."
-The New York Times

"Tavares's illustrations for Helen's Big World are, per the title, big and bold and often in intense close-up. Stirring and awe-inspiring..."
*The Horn Book Magazine (starred review)

"A great design, incorporating the words in large type, makes this book visually striking.... The full images, without borders, invite children into Helen's world, while showing how big it truly became.... A dramatic spread shows the pupil and teacher in a boat, majestically cresting a wave, emphasizing what the youngster does experience more than what she does not. While there are many books available about Helen Keller for this age group, this title offers a unique and beautiful perspective on her life."
*School Library Journal (starred review)

"The wide and tall trim size of this work allows Tavares's full, close-up, edge-to-edge paintings to bring readers into the story and helps convey Helen's passion, energy and delight as she defeats her limitations.... A magisterial account."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Biography at its very best"
-Librarian's Quest

"Tavares's illustrations evoke deep emotional response, incorporating large close ups and changing in color to reflect mood and tone. Particularly striking is his depiction on the front endpapers of the break through moment when Helen realizes her teacher, Annie Sullivan is providing her with words with which to express her experiences. Students reading this text cannot help but think about how they experience the world in which they live and offer their own words to communicate with those around them."
-The Classroom Bookshelf

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HELEN'S BIG WORLD. Text Copyright © 2012 Doreen Rappaport. Illustrations © 2012 Matt Tavares. Disney-Hyperion, New York, NY