And away we go!!!
1) The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights
Full disclosure, Carole Boston Weatherford and I are totally BFF's. We've only met once but we had a powerful connection. Anywho, The Beattitudes is one of those books that made me shiver, almost made me cry and definetly made me question my own skills. We all know what an amazing talent Ms. Weatherford is, but this book just feels extra special. As she goes through the Beatitudes (Mark 5:3-12), she coordinates each verse with a moment from history.
I am the Lord your God.
I was with the Africans who were torn
from the Motherland and cramped in holds of ships
on the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas
I heard them chant: Kum ba ya, kum ba ya.
Each page informs/reminds the reader that God was there through the midst of it all. The book is rich and flavorful. It's also a great way to begin having a conversation with your kids on African-American history. I know it's a big topic of conversation in my mommy-circles of how do we teach our kids our very complicated history? This book gives the young ones just enough to introduce them and begin the dialogue of how we got to where we are now. Also a great book for older kids because it introduces them to some events in history that they could also dig deeper into and learn more. This would be a great resource for the classroom or at home. Be on the lookout because Ms. Weatherford also has a book coming out about OPRAH!!! Is there any wonder why she is my BFF.
2) Big Red Lollipop
Rukhsana Khan has written a wonderful story about sibling rivalry but also about learning new customs. Sana's mother insist she take her younger sibling to a birthday party only she (Sana) was invited too. Her mother has no idea what a birthday party is, or why Sana would not want to take her sister with her. Of course the little sister ruins the party but that's not all. A wonderful story about sisters. I love that it an Arab American family. I also love the illustrations which I usually don't pay too much attention too.(Sorry, I focus on the words.) Illustrator Sophie Blackall captures each girls expression so well. We see the anger boiling out of Sana when her little sister ruins her day. We see the mischievious smirk on the little sister's face as she torments her older sister. Fabulous book all around.
3) Most Loved in All the World
Again, another book that made me ask why even bother to write because it is so obvious I suck. (Here is where you reassure me that I'm brilliant, pretty etc.) Written by Tonya Cherie Hegamin,this story did make me cry. I cried because it's a beautiful story about the sacrifices a mother makes for her children. But the rhythm of the story is just luscious. Almost like a poem. The mother sews a quilt for her daughter to use as her map to freedom. She sews in a patch with a happy little girl in the middle and says "This little girl is the most loved in all the world." Okay hold on I gotta get my tissue again. sniff, sniff, sniff. Until next time.