By Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney (illustrator)
Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins
This story begins with shoes.
This story is all for true.
This story 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 Scholastic.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Random.org, 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!