OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR
Frank Morrison Studio
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 6—Similar in approach to Ntozake Shange's Ellington Was Not a Street (S & S, 2004), this book spotlights a historical African-American figure on each spread. Cook's brief words introduce 11 key individuals, beginning with "Our ancestors fought…/so George [Washington Carver] could invent./George invented…so Jesse [Owens] could sprint./Jesse sprinted…." Each stunning spread features full-bleed artwork done by a different children's book illustrator, such as James Ransome, Leo and Diane Dillon, Pat Cummings, E. B. Lewis, and Bryan Collier. Sports greats Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson verily leap from the pages. Ruby Bridges steps innocently into her school building, guarded by two federal marshals. An unknown Civil War soldier reminds readers of nameless heroes who struggled for freedom. These images will motivate students to seek further information about the people depicted here. Paragraph-length profiles of these "pioneers of change" are appended as are the artists' biographies, which will lead students to discover a rich body of work by contemporary illustrators. A perfect read-aloud to introduce a lesson on biographies or African-American studies.—Catherine Trinkle, Hickory Elementary, Avon, IN
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