Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry

( 2 )

Overview

"And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely — I'll make me a world."

— James Weldon Johnson
Thus begins Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan's collection of inspiring excerpts of poems by celebrated African American poets. Beautifully illustrated with his own tempera and gouache paintings, Ashley Bryan's ...

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Overview

"And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely — I'll make me a world."

— James Weldon Johnson
Thus begins Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan's collection of inspiring excerpts of poems by celebrated African American poets. Beautifully illustrated with his own tempera and gouache paintings, Ashley Bryan's unique alphabet book will delight readers of any age.

Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a line from a poem by different African American poets, describing an aspect of the black experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
This is the artist's introduction to the poetry-in whole or part-of 25 writers and one spiritual. Mr. Bryan's vibrant, full-page tempera and gouache paintings were inspired by the words they illustrate.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4The alphabet takes a back seat to the poetry and is lightheartedly wrestled into compliance as an organizational device in this exultant celebration of African-American writers. Each full-page entry features a short poem or poem fragment, surrounded by Bryan's vivid tempera and gouache paintings. To make this work as an alphabet book, the artist often takes the featured letter from a word within the poem, sometimes even a letter within a word (for "X," "Without eXpectation/there is no end/to the shock of morning/or even a small summer" from Audre Lorde's "Summer Oracle"). The letter is set off at the top and the poet's name fills the bottom frame of the painting. The selections, many of which will be unfamiliar to children, display a loving acquaintance with poets from James Weldon Johnson to Rita Dove. While there is a full range of emotions, joy and pride predominate. Some pieces will elicit appreciative chuckles, even a guffaw or two. An acknowledgments page lists the source of each selection. This marvelous introduction should inspire many readers to seek out other works by these writers. While the format and the lively illustrations mark this as a children's book, the pleasure that both word and picture will give to involved adults will enhance the shared experience.Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689840456
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 267,000
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he has been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; he has also been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine, where he can often be found with a cluster of children, all singing.

Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he has been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; he has also been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine, where he can often be found with a cluster of children, all singing.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2013

    You can check the book out.

    This book was okay. I didn't really like the fact that some of the letters of the alphabet didn't began at the beginning of the sentence. The book has lovely pictures.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    Fun and Educational

    Good book to read to children to be used during Black history month. It teaches children poetry about different african american poets.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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