Honoring Our Ancestors: Stories and Pictures by Fourteen Artists

Overview

Through stories, art, and photographs, fourteen outstanding artists remember the ancestors who most touched their lives. Caryl Henry honors his grandmother and America's first Black woman millionaire, Madame C. J. Walker. Nancy Hom's father worked in a Chinese restaurant but possessed the strength of a mighty warrior. Mira Reisberg's Jewish grandparents were killed in the Holocaust, but their spirit helped shape her life. Other artists include Hung Liu, Enrique Chagoya, George Crespo, Judith Lowry, Joe Sam, and ...
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Overview

Through stories, art, and photographs, fourteen outstanding artists remember the ancestors who most touched their lives. Caryl Henry honors his grandmother and America's first Black woman millionaire, Madame C. J. Walker. Nancy Hom's father worked in a Chinese restaurant but possessed the strength of a mighty warrior. Mira Reisberg's Jewish grandparents were killed in the Holocaust, but their spirit helped shape her life. Other artists include Hung Liu, Enrique Chagoya, George Crespo, Judith Lowry, Joe Sam, and Patssi Valdez. This book will inspire children and their families to honor their own ancestors.

Fourteen artists and picture book illustrators present paintings with descriptions of ancestors or other sources of inspiration that have inspired them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A companion of sorts to publisher Rohmer's Just Like Me, this meager volume collects 14 artists' obviously heartfelt and occasionally moving tributes to parents, grandparents and spiritual ancestors. The cultural heritages of the contributors are diverse, including African-American, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Native American and Mexican. Each offers a full-page painting, opposite a personal statement. In the most polished entry, Caryl Henry, describing her grandmother, a cosmetologist who trained at a "beauty culture" school established by the first African-American woman millionaire, imagines her grandmother working with hair: "She fried it, she dyed it, she really combed and styled it!" The artwork ranges from straightforward portraits to scenes containing a variety of images and symbols, often explained in the accompanying narrative ("I drew the shape of my mother's body using the words `nunca me digas adios,' " writes Enrique Chagoya. "That's Spanish for `never tell me good-bye' "). The artwork is poorly laid out, giving the assemblage the static, uninviting look of a school exercise. The collection may be most effective as a tool for sparking kids' thoughts or drawings of their own families. As most of the artists live in the San Francisco area, the book's greatest appeal is likely to be in that region. Ages 6-up. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
A selection of California artists offer artistic homage to their forebears in this multicultural compilation. Artistic styles vary dramatically from folk-inspired mixed media to finely finished acrylic on canvas paintings. The commentaries are keyed to the individual art works and are meant to inspire classroom discussions on the importance of every child's cultural and ethnic heritage.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6A collection of illustrated essays on the theme of family/ethnic pride. The artists who contributed to the book were asked to name ancestors who influenced their lives. While many of the respondents chose family members, others selected people whom they felt were their spiritual ancestors. The artists discuss who they selected and why, and explain the context of the illustration that they created to honor that person. A biographical sketch with the artists photograph and a photo or representative drawing of the ancestor are also included. The contributors come from a variety of backgrounds, and each has a distinctive style. None of the explanatory text is particularly dramatic or compelling; its the illustrations that provide most of the appeal. The artwork is highly accessible, although most children will not be familiar with the artists: Carl Angel, Enrique Chagoya, Caryl Henry, Nancy Hom, and Helen Zughaib, among others. Pair this title with Pat Cummingss Talking with Artists Bradbury, 1992, which introduces childrens book illustrators.Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rohmer reassembles part of the original cast of Just Like Me (1997, not reviewed) and adds new faces for this showcase. With a full-page painting and a brief anecdote, each artist pays tribute to a family or spiritual ancestor: George Crespo to his Puerto Rican abuelo; icon painter Mark Dukes to Mahatma Gandhi and others; JoeSam to the three Harlem aunts who raised him; Australian-born Mira Reisberg to a gallery of inspirational figures that includes Groucho Marx. Although done in individual styles, the art's crisp lines, bold colors, and commonality of feeling create a visual unity unusual to albums of this sort, a unity reinforced by the artists' unforced, natural-sounding statements. Captioned portrait photographs of each contributor and, where possible, each ancestor, further strengthen connections between past and present, between reader and artist. (Picture book. 9-11) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892392803
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 31
  • Sales rank: 842,715
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Rohmer
Harriet Rohmer

Harriet Rohmer is the founder and former publisher/executive director of Children's Book Press, the award-winning publisher of bilingual and multicultural picture books. Her books have won over 100 major awards and many have become classics, including artist Carmen Lomas Garza's Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia. She lives in San Francisco.

Julie McLaughlin is an illustrator living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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