Monday, January 21, 2013

How will you observe Black History Month?

 We received 4 new books for review to add to a collection of stories I have amassed to focus on black history. A BEAUTIFUL book about Nelson Mandela, 2 poetry books revolving around the slaves that helped to build the white house and a black family's move across country in the 1940's, and then another book on Martin Luther King Jr. We don't ONLY read them during February during Black History Month, but it certainly is helpful to have a reminder to focus on a certain topic. I am thrilled with the choices that Harper Collins sent to my family. You can see Evan reading "I've Seen the Promised Land" by Walter Dean Myers during a break between his martial arts classes.
The artwork by Leonard Jenkins is edgy and inspiring. It captures your interest in not only the words but the emotions behind what is being said. Evan was absolutely silent for the entire time he read this book about MLK,Jr. It is an absolutely stunning book.

The best new addition to my family's collection though is the book titled "Nelson Mandela" written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Surprisingly enough, this is the first book our family has owned on Mr. Mandela, though we have read and talked about him in the past. Nothing is quite as compelling as the cover portrait, though. Nelson Mandela's face has always been one that I have felt drawn to. Perhaps it is the strength you can see in his eyes. Perhaps it is the fact that, despite the tragic situations his life's path has taken him through, he still seems to have a perpetual smile and kind word for anyone who would hear him.

"In the Land of Milk and Honey" by Joyce Carol Thomas and "Brick by Brick" by Charles R. Smith, Jr. are both illustrated by artist Floyd Cooper. These lovely books of poetry open up 2 new topics for my children and I to discuss with, yet again, lovely artwork to assist their imaginations.

What I love about picture books is that anyone can learn from them, whether or not they can read the words themselves. Picture books about historical figures or situations capture our attention and hold it so much longer than just reading the words alone. I hope my children enjoy these 4 new books during February as we read them alongside our many other books that incorporate black history around the world. Remember to check out your library, too! 



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