Friday, November 21, 2008

On the MyBrownBaby Bookshelf: Boycott Blues. Plus, A New MBB Contest!

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation
By Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney (illustrator)
Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins

This story begins with shoes.

This story is all for true.

This story walks.
And walks.
And walks.

To the blues.

So begins this poignant retelling of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks’s stand against Jim Crow, as recounted by a guitar-strumming, blues-playing hound named Dog Tired. He tells in a beautiful rhythmic style how Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, AL, on December 1, 1955—a peaceful rebellion that led to the boycott that ultimately dismantled America’s segregation laws. As Dog Tired spins his bluesy tale about the perseverance of the hundreds of men and women who car-pooled, taxied, and walked rather than pay to ride on a segregated bus system, a foreboding bird named Jim Crow swirls menacingly over the heads of the righteous, giving the people the blues as they work to change the world.

My daughters know the story of Rosa Parks, but this amazing book, with its rich, swirling illustrations dancing across the pages, breathed new life into the incredible narrative in a way that connected for my daughters. They instinctively understood that the dark, stormy streaks and swirls that enveloped Jim Crow represented hard times for our people—the blues—but that joy came in the bright yellows and sky blues and reds that marked the emergence of our people from a most dark time in American history. What’s more, they really enjoyed the story’s poetic tempo, which makes it a stand-out read-aloud book. Though written for kids ages 5 to 8, the story is sophisticated enough for tweens to enjoy.

To enhance your child’s reading experience:
• Have your child look up the word “hero,” discuss it’s meaning, then draw a picture of her hero.
• Discuss the concept of rules with your child, then let him list rules he thinks are unfair, and ways he would change them.
• Let them check out Rosa talk about her experience in her own words in an exclusive interview on


Win four incredible autographed books penned and illustrated by the prolific husband and wife duo, Andrea and Brian Pinkney. The Pinkneys, who come from a long line of children’s book authors and illustrators, are my hereos—they’ve long been passionate about the value of books featuring characters and stories that speak to the African American experience. Indeed, when I went searching for picture books to stock in my then-newborn baby’s library, works by the Pinkneys were some of only a handful of published books that were being written for and about black children.

The Pinkneys have graciously agreed to give one winner four (!) books from their incredible collection of children’s picture books. Included in this package are: Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince & His Orchestra; Peggony Po: A Whale Of a Tale, and; Mim’s Christmas Jam. Imagine that: Four books featuring characters and stories that your child will flip for, with the personalized autograph of the author and illustrator! This is a $70 value, but the Pinkneys’s authographs are priceless.

Here’s how you enter: Check out the Library of Congress's fab interview with Andrea Pinkney, then come back to MyBrownBaby and leave a comment about something you learned about her by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 30, 2008.

Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more tasks on this list:

If you haven’t already, sign up for MyBrownBaby’s email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 30, 2008. To be eligible, you must verify your email subscription when Feedburner sends you a verification email. Your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. If you would prefer to get MyBrownBaby updates via an MBB RSS feed, please leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so, and include an email address, as RSS subscribers are anonymous.

Buy Boycott Blues, and email a copy of your confirmation order to

Blog about MyBrownBaby and post a link to your blog entry here.

Fave MyBrownBaby on Technorati. After you do this, come back to MyBrownBaby to leave a comment with your Technorati user name so that I can verify it.

See? That means each of you can receive up to 5 entries. A winner will be chosen via, and contacted via email. This contest is available to U.S. mailing addresses only.

Well… what are you waiting for? Go ahead—Dog Tired is waiting!

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  1. She won the Coretta Scott King Award. I really hope to win this - I would love to feature one or all of the books on Storytime w/Renée.

  2. Your blog is one of my favorites on technorati. CutieBootyCakes

  3. What a great giveaway! I learned that one of the inspirations for this book was the strike by the NYC Transit Authority. I like how that experience reminded her of the people who peacefully participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

    It's amazing to me what can inspire a person and then how they can turn that into a beautiful written work!

  4. I came over here to thank you for those wonderful words you wrote on my blog on the small Thanksgiving I may be having this year. Your words really gave me something to think about and let me know to sit back and appreciate the ones that are closest. Wonderful.

    THEN I saw this giveaway and I am wowed all over again. With three brown babies who don't get much "culture" taught in their school, I felt these would be great for them.

    So I read up on this author and I just don't see how she and her husband can go a week without bringing up their books. It has to be a challenge to work together because hubs and I can barely get through painting a room together on a weekend! But it works for them and it seems they have acheived wonderful success out of it.

    Sorry for babbling in your comments, but thanks again for your fabulous word of encouragement.

  5. I'm just stopping by from SITS. Congrats on being a saucy blog!

  6. i love love love the Pinkney's! I use their books in my classroom quite often and I never tire of reading them over and over!

    I loved reading about their routine of collaborating on Saturdays, then at 2 o'clock, that is it, it ends. So disciplined! What a fantastic duo!

  7. great blog! im visiting from sits!! will be back to check you out again! :) (my grandmother rose and rosa parks shared the same birthday - im not sure that means anything at all but she raised me to stand up and speak out.)

  8. Wow! Andrea is one disciplined, hard working mother who is passionate about her craft. I'm inspired after reading about her biggest challenge - finding time to write. And the fact that she and her husband Brian have carved out a weekly conference schedule is just fantastic.

    I too remember way back to the mid-1980s when we had our first child when we were lucky enough to find her books. How old is she? She looks twenty-something in that photo.

    Fabulous contest. And I am dumping my "all it takes is a dollar and a dream" philosophy. So, I'll be back.

  9. 2) I finally joined Technorati today, yippee! and fave'd MyBrownBaby, and 3)I already receive updates via email.

    Now, all I have to do is blog about MBB and buy Boycott goes.

  10. Congrats on your saucy blog!! Love your blog design. :) ~Jill :)

  11. First Congrats on being Saucy.

    I have always admired Rosa Parks while my boys are bigger now I have nieces and nephews that would love to get this book.

    I enjoyed the whole interview with Ms.Pinkney. I love how she and her husband worked out being able to work together. I love that she is a mom who has to blance everthing like we all do.

    I am looking forward to reading her books and having something new to give as gifts.

  12. I learned the author works with her husband, who illustrates the book. that's cool!

    congrats on being Saucy this week!

  13. Hello fellow SITS-er! Congrats on being a blog of the week. I hope you have tons of visitors. Come visit if you get the chance at:
    Let me enter into your fab give away. How wonderful and what great books.
    Did my visit and liked what it said at the end the best.
    What is your advice to parents for passing the joys of reading on to their children?

    Let it begin with you. Show your kids that you love reading, and they will follow.

  14. Congratulations on your SITS Sauciness this week!!

  15. Congrats on being Saucy this week!! I'm just stopping by from SITS to say Hello! I'll visit again later!

  16. Good Morning! Congrats on being Saucy today! =)

  17. So happy that a Blog that I read regularly is Saucy this week. You guys rock!

  18. Congrats on your SUPER sauciness!!!!

  19. Congrats on being saucy this week. I LOVE the look of your blog - it's gorgeous! And this book sounds fantastic - I'm heading for the children's section the next time I'm at the book store (which happens often, by the way!)

  20. Since I'd never heard of her before, everything I read was new. I would love these books for my children for Christmas. I think it's interesting the way the Pickneys separate work time from family time by holding weekly meetings. That really caught my eye.


    and i am a subscriber

  22. Congrats on being SAUCY this week!! :)

  23. COngrats on being this week's saucy blog!!

  24. 4) Check out my MBB blog at

    And CONGRATS! YOU ARE supercalifragilisticexpialidotiously SAUCY!!!

  25. The first thing I learned is that the Library of Congress has great resources for young readers. The director and teachers at our school, The Carolina School for Inquiry, a public inquiry based child centered charter school in Columbia, SC already know that, I'm sure, but I'll ask. I didn't know that December 1st was the anniversary of Rosa Parks momentus stand. That's Monday. If I were to win, I'd give the books to the director of CSI. If I don't win, I'll go to the bookstore and buy them for the school. But autographs would be really cool.

  26. I learned she's collaborated several times with her husband and that like most of us, the biggest struggle is with finding time to write.

  27. I subscribed via rss google reader.

  28. I faved you in technorati (blueviolet)


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