Celebrate Black History Month With Fascinating Picture Book Biographies
BIOGRAPHY: AGES 8 THRU 10:
I, Matthew Hensen: Polar Explorer
by Carole Weatherford. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
(CIP, 32 pps., $16.95)
“I did not start as cabin boy, climb the ranks to able-bodied seaman, sail to five continents, and learn trades and foreign tongues to be shunned by white crews.” A tribute to the spirit, determination and strength of will of this African American explorer. Full-spread pastel illustrations with images as powerful as the text.
Muhammad Ali by Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Francois Roca. (CIP, unpaged, $16.99). A larger than life sports champion, Ali’s arrival always accompanied theatrical bombast: “And the heavens opened up/and there appeared a great man/descending on a cloud, jump-roping/ into the Kingdom of Boxing.” Eye-catching oil paintings vividly capture the racism he encountered and the hero worship he inspired.
PICTURE BOOK: AGES 5 THRU 8
by Cathryn Falwell
(HarperCollins, unpaged, $16.99)
A high spirited romp in the pond in extraordinary paper collages. Wood ducks, salamanders, tadpoles,turtles and frogs hustle along in rhyming bounce. A photo of the author’s tree house is included, with an informative listing of animals she enjoys observing.
Good Enough to Eat
by Brock Cole
(CIP, unpaged, $16.00)
A poor homeless girl, known only as “Scraps-and-Smells”, or “Skins-and-Bones”, or “Sweets-and-Treats” outwits the unfriendly townspeople as well as a foul ogre. Watercolor illustrations in strong ink outlines compliment the vivid rhyming verse. Wonderfully suited for reading aloud.
Selene Vasquez is a media specialist at Orange Brook Elementary School in Hollywood, FL.#