Float Like a Butterfly

Overview

Muhammad Ali, considered by many to be the finest athlete of the twentieth century, is also one of the most famous Americans of his time. Here is a compelling testimony to his courage, resilience in the face of controversy, and boxing prowess by Obie Award-winning author Ntozake Shange. In her own words, Shange shows us Ali and his life, from his childhood in the segregated South, to his meteoric rise in boxing to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Edel Rodriguez's stunning artwork combines pastels, ...

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2003 Hardcover New in new dust jacket. Ready to dispatch from the UK. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return ... is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Muhammad Ali, considered by many to be the finest athlete of the twentieth century, is also one of the most famous Americans of his time. Here is a compelling testimony to his courage, resilience in the face of controversy, and boxing prowess by Obie Award-winning author Ntozake Shange. In her own words, Shange shows us Ali and his life, from his childhood in the segregated South, to his meteoric rise in boxing to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Edel Rodriguez's stunning artwork combines pastels, monoprint woodblock ink linework and spray paint on colored papers to capture Ali's power, spontaneity, and energy. A time line and list of additional resources and Web sites help make this a standout picture book biography of the man known around the world as "The Greatest"." "0786809043

An introduction to the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, including his accomplishments as a fighter and his contributions to society.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shange (I Live in Music) offers a streamlined, clearly affectionate account of the life of Muhammad Ali, who, she says in an introductory note, continues to inspire "hope and courage." Her portrait effectively reveals the fighter's personality, re-creating conversations between young Cassius and his parents and later quoting some of his well-known proclamations. Rodriguez (Mama Does the Mambo) begins with a close-up view of the subject as a child, poised and gazing heavenward, then shifts to a full-bleed spread that conveys the historical backdrop: the boy stands at a "colored" water fountain, on the right of the horizontal painting, looking across the gutter at a "white" fountain ("As a boy, he struggled to make his way in the segregated world of the pre-civil rights South," reads the text). The author subtly intimates that his parents are the source of Ali's confidence (his father compliments him on his way with words; his mother tells him, "So long as you are alive, I want you to remember, you are God's work"). The volume nicely characterizes this modern-day hero, with poster-like illustrations and punchy text, but for a more thorough picture-book biography, readers will do better with last season's Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali (Walker) by James Haskins, illus. by Eric Velasquez. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Shange sings Muhammad Ali's praises in this visually appealing picture-book tribute. The first half of the book highlights significant events in Ali's childhood. The theft of his bike inspired him to begin boxing; growing up amid racism in the pre-civil rights South fueled him to excel to become the greatest. The text touches on his embrace of Islam, his name change, his refusal to fight in Vietnam, and major wins and losses in the ring. The story whizzes by with lightning speed and is spare enough to read aloud in one sitting. Bordered quotes in bold print jump off the pages. There is not a negative word about the former champ, though his career and personality are certainly not without controversy. The cartoon artwork, full page and double spread, is a definite draw for comic-book fans. The action-packed illustrations are as dramatic as the text and accentuate the superhero theme, never letting readers forget that Ali is "a hero for all time."-Ajoke' T. I. Kokodoko, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This fervent but sketchy tribute to the world's best known living athlete gives young readers stylized, spray-painted views of a comic book-style superhero with hugely exaggerated muscles and, generally, an open mouth, paired to eye-glazing captions. "As a boy, he struggled to make his way in the segregated world of the PRE-CIVIL RIGHTS SOUTH." Shange makes a case for dubbing Ali a "hero for all time," but aside from a later quote of the subtitle, she mentions his way with rhyme only as a boy, and ends her account of his boxing career with 1974's "Rumble in the Jungle," seven years before his last fight. The appended chronology addresses that lack, but skips from 1981 to 1996, and refers to his Parkinson's Disease without explaining what it is-or its probable cause. Next to the strong prose and evocative art of Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins (2000), or the grandeur of Doreen Rappaport's Martin's Big Words, illustrated by Brian Collier (2001), this portrait of a widely admired African-American comes off as more strident than inspirational. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786805549
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Ntozake Shange
Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange is a renowned playwright, poet (Nappy Edges and The Love Space Demands), and novelist (Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, Betsey Brown, and Liliane). She lives in Philadelphia.

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