This wonderful book and CD combination is truly a treasure for all ages.
Sing these songs with younger children or explore them more deeply with an older crowd. Both will result in a rewarding experience.
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.
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
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