Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Non-fiction Picture Books Celebrate Important Women

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

      I bought this when it was published and still haven't shared it. For every child who slept after being read Goodnight Moon or The Runaway Bunny, or learned from Red Light, Green Light and celebrated with The Summer Noisy Book. And, for me as a teacher who read The Important Thing often to my middle-grade students to help them make personal choices, this is a book of forty-two pages honoring Margaret Wise Brown who lived to be forty-two. You will gather other memories as you read this, hopefully with a child, too. She wrote over 100 books, a myriad of chances for favorite stories. It's strange and quirky and the important thing is that Mac Barnett wrote it and Sarah Jacoby illustrated it. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

       In lovely and poetic language, apt for Maya Angelou, Bethany Hegedus shares an overview of Maya's life, from the time she was sent to her grandmother's home in Stamps, Arkansas with her older brother at the age of three to the publishing of her final memoir a year before her death. Angelou's life was filled with heartbreak and success. I learned a lot from this picture book, did not know that Maya Angelou was a dancer, a performer, later a director. I did not know that she escaped to Ghana when there was a threat to her son during the Civil Rights era, aligning herself with Malcolm X, soon assassinated. She lived in turmoil but was surrounded by love at her grandparent's home and later through those with whom she worked and lived. Although in Stamps, she saw terrible discrimination, she learned to "Rise", to overcome and continue to learn, to write, to dance. The book really is an overview and though reviews say it's for seven to ten, it feels to me that most readers will need background help in some that the book contains. 

       The illustrations fill the pages with words swirling around Maya each step of her life, rising into success and acknowledgment for her talents. There is a detailed timeline given at the end plus further resources.

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