RSS

Tag Archives: African Americans

Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown

freedomTitle: Freedom Song:  The Story of Henry “Box” Brown
Author: Sally M Walker
Recommended for: 4-8 years old
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E WALKE 

Synopsis:  Henry Brown copes with slavery by singing, but after his wife and children are sold away he is left with only his freedom song, which gives him strength when friends put him in a box and mail him to a free state.

As we have had a lot of people from children’s lit classes coming in and asking for historical fiction picture books, I really wanted to give them the highly acclaimed Henry’s Freedom Box.  Unfortunately, this assignment was too little, too late, and we weeded the book because it hadn’t gone out in years.  I was delighted to find out that we had another book on the same topic that had avoided that fate!

This fictionalized true story is sensational.  There is a transcribed letter at the end which is a historical document outlining Henry Brown’s escape.  There is artistry in the storytelling, using songs as a device to drive the story.  It is too long for a preschool audience or for a storytime, but for a one on one readaloud or for use in a classroom, this book is a gripping way to tell a real story.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

The Sound of Kwanzaa

Title: The Soukwanzaand of Kwanzaa
Author: Dimitrea Tokunbo
Recommended for: Preschool to 1st grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E 394.2612 TOK 

Synopsis:  This chant-like text explains the meaning of each candle lit for Kwanzaa. Each word is explained with the meaning as well as an example of what a person might do to celebrate that day.

Our primary audience for Kwanzaa books are preschool teachers who are talking about the holiday to people who do not celebrate.  While they need to convey information, they also need something that is a good read aloud. The repeating refrain should help drive the presentation of this book.  Unfortunately, the pronunciations of the presumably Swahili theme words is only included in the glossary, rather than within the text itself.  Teachers will need to practice ahead of time to be able to master this book, but of the choices, this book is appropriate for preschoolers.

 

Tags: , ,

Firebird

firebirdTitle:   Firebird:  Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
Author:   Misty Copeland                                      Illustrator:  Christopher Myers
Series:  not applicable
Recommended for:  Everyone, second grade and up.  Especially dancers and people who love dance.
Pages:   32 pages (approximate)
Call Number/Link:  E COPELAND, M.

Rating:   ****  

 

 

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Synopsis:

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author’s note about dancers who led her to find her voice.

Comments:

I recommend that all of you read this book.  Its illustrations are striking and beautiful and the message is inspiring.  Unfortunately, the text is more poetic than direct, which could be confusing to some readers (or listeners).  I’m not sure of its child appeal, especially when kids are walking through the picture book area grabbing books that attract their attention. However, dancers and and dance fans will love it.  Both protagonists are African American so it would fit in a Black History Month display.  It could also be a good choice for Children’s Lit students and teachers who teach grades 3-12.

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Juv, Realistic

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,