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BOOK REVIEW

BRONZEVILLE BOYS AND GIRLS
By Gwendolyn Brooks
Illustrated by Faith Ringgold
Harper Collins

 

By Donna Maria Chandler

NEW YORK, 30 MARCH 2007Bronzeville Boys and Girls is a children’s book written by Gwendolyn Books that features thirty-four poems that celebrate childhood. The author is the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize and the recipient of many awards, fellowships and honorary degrees; she was appointed as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1985. Congratulations to Harper Collins for reissuing this outstanding book of poetry that was originally published in 1956.

The beauty of this children’s book is that each poem and illustration celebrates childhood while emphasizing a key element that is important to the healthy development of children – play, imagination, family, community and emotions. Children of all ages will delight in hearing these poems because they are engaging, mirror their experiences and provide them with opportunities to become poets telling their own stories. Faith Ringgold, African American artist, has created a vivid painting that compliments each poem, but most of all,  the illustrations draw children into the actions and emotions of the written words. So, while this wonderful children's book was written and published 51 years ago, the poems are still relevant and inspiring to children and adults today.

Bronzeville Boys and Girls 
By Gwendolyn Brooks (Author), Faith Ringgold (Illustrator)

Hardcover: 48 pages
Harper Collins, New York (December 26, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0060295058
ISBN-13: 978-0060295059
$16.99

Donna Maria Chandler is an international educator.  Her work has taken her to Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Egypt and El Salvador. Formerly with the Sesame Workshop, she specializes in children's books and media literacy.



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