Among the many reasons that I love picture books, a major point for me as an adult is that I continually learn about important things through them. As a child with a vivid imagination and creativity, I was never much for history, biographies or period stories growing up. Even now, non-fiction books consistently take me longer to get through, while I devour fiction and stories at an almost alarming rate. But give me bite-size chunks of history, depict it with powerful illustrations, and you’ve got my attention. That’s what today’s book did.
I’m ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. I honestly did not even know it had occurred. My childhood education in the civil rights movement is basically non-existent. I don’t remember reading about much of anything except a few paragraphs here and there about Martin Luther King, Jr. My adult education is heavily underway, greatly aided by the powerful school my children attend. And I continue to seek out resources and especially picture books to fill in so many gaps in my knowledge as I learn alongside my children.
The newest one to our stack is Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, 2018. It is a lengthier picture book, a combination of poetry and prose, based on a teacher who participated in the strike and marches in Memphis as a child. Come learn along with me.
Happy Wednesday! This book came out several years ago, but I recently came across it while searching for more civil rights picture books. A tribute to the famous song and the many people who have sung it from America’s era of slavery through the 60s civil rights movement and continuing today in the fight for freedom and equality, take a look at We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, 2013.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Dr. King would be 90 years old if he were alive today. With the memorial holiday reminding us to reflect and continue to press on in the civil rights movement Dr. King helped orchestrate, this book is an excellent addition to the day. Here is Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2001.
“A little black dog and a little white dog were friends,
And they stayed together and played together all day long.”
Words so simple and yet so lyrical, those are the words on the opening spread of Dahlov Ipcar’s stunning book about two dogs, two friends, two colors, and the adventures and imaginings surrounding them. Originally published at the height of the US civil rights movement in 1963, Flying Eye Books has remastered the original art and traditionally printed the book (on uncoated paper!) using the same bold spot color that made Ipcar known as a true master of color and organic form. I am thrilled to add this timeless and yet continually so poignant piece of work into my own library and I am delighted to share it with you. Come look at this breathtaking book, Black and White by Dahlov Ipcar, 1963 and now 2015. Read the full post…
A collection of 75 songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner, this vibrantly illustrated book is such a delight! Enjoy A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with lyrics by Fred Rogers and illustrations by Luke Flowers, 2019.
It is apparently the year of Mister Rogers, and I’m completely OK with it. Two new picture books this year celebrating this wonderful man and the legacy of an amazing show he created. First up today is a sweet biography about Rogers from his childhood and some of the inspiration that led him to create his famous show. Take a peek at You Are My Friend by Aimee Reid, pictures by Matt Phelan, 2019.
A book in rhyme that feels like a gift. A book that encourages and equips. A book for a laugh and comfort. A book for when you need to take a risk or act on a big dream; or when you are just thinking about a risk or a dream. A book that gives you that soft landing and the assurance for coming home. A book Just In Case You Want To Fly by Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson.
If I had to choose a favorite from the year, this would be it. A story about a little girl’s pet tortoise and a seemingly impossible endeavor he undertakes. Be charmed by Truman by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, 2019.