In the Hollow of Your Hand: Slave Lullabies

Overview

Slave lullabies, created from the African-American experience, were sung to give hope for a better time to come. Although these lullabies were born of hardship and overwhelming sadness, they can be thought of as musical stories for children and adults. By turns soothing, playful, empowering, and bittersweet, the songs convey the love of parents for children.
Since childhood, Alice McGill has been collecting and singing these lullabies. Here they are preserved along with vibrant ...

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2000-09-25 Paperback New Because of size or weight, SHIPS TO USA ONLY and MEDIA/STANDARD mail ONLY! ! Hardcover w/ DJ. You are buying a Book in NEW condition with very light ... shelf wear. Buy it Now! ! ! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Slave lullabies, created from the African-American experience, were sung to give hope for a better time to come. Although these lullabies were born of hardship and overwhelming sadness, they can be thought of as musical stories for children and adults. By turns soothing, playful, empowering, and bittersweet, the songs convey the love of parents for children.
Since childhood, Alice McGill has been collecting and singing these lullabies. Here they are preserved along with vibrant quilt collages and a CD recording of each song, introduced and sung by McGill. Her voice is rich and resonant, adding yet another dimension to these moving pieces of oral history. This beautiful package of lullabies, artwork, and personal history invites readers of all ages to sing along and remember the powerful words and melodies of a people struggling to survive.

A collection of lullabies orally transmitted by African-American slaves revealing their hardships and sorrows as well as soothing notes of well-being and belief in a better time to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Book Page
This wonderful book and CD combination is truly a treasure for all ages.
—(9/00)
SLJ
Sing these songs with younger children or explore them more deeply with an older crowd. Both will result in a rewarding experience.
— (12/00)
NYTBR
Listening to McGill sing as you read along in the text, you realise that these lullabies are love songs. . . . a book that will become a keepsake in many homes.
— (11/19/00)
Children's Literature
Over the years, singer and storyteller McGill has collected from both sides of her family these thirteen lullabies, which "contain the essence of black survival" passed down from slavery days. They are brief, written in the dialect of those who sang them, and filled with faith, touches of humor, and reassurances of love and protection. Included with each lullaby are notes about how and where the song was heard and collected, along with explanations of the meaning or historic background of the content. In the accompanying CD, McGill talks to the listener about her family and collecting. Then she sings each song in a voice rich with emotion, accompanied by guitar and violin. She also narrates some of the information in the text. On opposing pages, Cummings's full page, mixed-media collages present bold, simplified shapes integrated with floral patterns of cut fabrics, all elaborately framed. There is a sense of visual vernacular, or a folk art that parallels the text. For those who would like to sing or play them, the basic melodies are also included in small format. Suitable for singing to infants and young children. 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company, $18.00. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Theodore Rosengarten
In the Hollow of Your Hand, a compilation of 13 lullabies sung by African-Americans to their children at the end of the slavery period, cautions us implicitly not to withhold admiration from people who did not run away but stayed where they were to build families and culture. These ''baby songs'' were collected by the professional storyteller Alice McGill in the farm hamlet of Mary's Chapel, N.C., where she was born and reared. . .Listening to her sing as you read along in the text, you realize that these lullabies are love songs. In the Hollow of Your Hand is beautifully illustrated by the quilt artist Michael Cummings. The juxtaposition of treasured old lullabies and new quilt ''pictures'' has produced a book that will become a keepsake in many homes, including mine.
New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"From the opening guitar notes that accompany McGill’s sweet, assured voice, listeners will know they’re in for a treat."—Publishers Weekly, starred review (10/9/00) Publishers Weekly

"This wonderful book and CD combination is truly a treasure for all ages."—Book Page 9/00

"Sing these songs with younger children or explore them more deeply with an older crowd. Both will result in a rewarding experience."—SLJ 12/00 School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395857557
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice McGill is an award-winning author and professional storyteller. Among her books is the ALA Notable Molly Bannaky, winner of the 2000 IRA Picture Book Award and the 2000 Jane Addams Award. Alice McGill has toured to collect and tell stories in thirty-nine states, Canada, the West Indies, and South Africa. She lives with her husband in Columbia, Maryland.

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