Written by Nancy I Sanders, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Sleeping Bear Press, 2007
Storytellers, historians and poets writing words that are wonderful and wise.
W is for Writers and the winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
The alphabet theme: The history and achievements of African Americans are explored in alphabetical order
Today we have another Sleeping Bear Press book. This one spotlights African Americans and shares information about famous people and historical events. I really like the way that the book handles some difficult concepts (such as slavery and segregation) frankly without skirting the facts, but still keeps its focus on how African Americans have triumphed over these adversities. The beautiful watercolor paintings of E.B. Lewis that grace the pages of this book truly add emotional impact to Nancy Sanders’ text.
Like yesterday’s book, each page here features a picture, a poem about the letter’s subject and a sidebar with interesting details about the people and contributions associated with the subject. The H page, for example, discusses the Harlem Renaissance and includes notes about Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Bessie Smith, Augusta Savage and James VanDerZee. I found the whole book to be really fascinating and I learned quite a bit, as well.
The X Factor: Shouldn’t be too hard to guess this one. It’s Malcolm X, whose civil rights philosophies and activist work are detailed in the sidebar.