Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals

Overview

This little light of mine,

I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine,

let it shine,

let it shine.

With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, ...

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Overview

This little light of mine,

I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine,

let it shine,

let it shine.

With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power of these beloved songs simply emanates through his joyous interpretations. Come, sing, and celebrate!

Winner of the 2008 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bryan (Beautiful Blackbird) again proves himself a maestro with scissors (depicted on the endpages) in a series of arresting, kaleidoscopic cut-construction-paper collages that interprets three beloved spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Each page contains two lines of lyrics alongside images of nature or of children and adults with diverse skin tones frolicking harmoniously in settings both urban and pastoral. This wide spectrum of experiences suggests the songs' themes of utopian peace, tolerance and beauty. The hands appearing on the pages of "He's Got the Whole World..." convey a sense of power, reassurance and awe that evoke the wonders of God. An author's note describes a bit of the origin and history of Negro spirituals. Musical notations for each song are included at book's end. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Bryan's brilliant collages capture the joy and exuberance of three well-known spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Silhouettes of children and adults in a variety of colors (black, green, orange, purple) dance across the pages of this oversized book. Light comes from many sources for the first song, including the flame of a candle, a shining star, strings of lights, and the beam of a flashlight. Modes of transportation include a truck, a bicycle, an airplane, a boat, and roller skates. The "saints" are depicted as people of all sizes and colors marching toward a bright object (perhaps the sun). The people continue their journey, as the lights are extinguished in the next verses, and rejoice in the glorious light of the Lord as the song ends. The shapes of easily recognized landmarks and buildings introduce "the whole world." These include the pyramids, a Christian church, a mosque, an igloo, a couple of teepees, some African homes, and an apartment building. Bright splashes of color represent the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, and the stars. Multicolored hands hold the geographic features of the world: the rivers and seas, the flowers and trees, and the mountains and valleys. The vividly colored animals include a lion, a lamb, a tiger, a ram, a sparrow, and a dove. The words and music scores for the songs appear in the back of the book, followed by an author's note about the origin and endurance of spirituals. A beautiful book for all ages.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 5-Bryan's vibrant illustrations interpret and energize three beloved songs: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Although the artistic style is similar to that in All Night, All Day (Atheneum, 1991), here Bryan uses intricate cut-paper collages to accompany the lines of text at the bottom of the pages. Energy and movement course through many of the full-bleed illustrations, as when children-depicted in rainbow-colored silhouettes-use a boat, an airplane, a bicycle, and other means to carry their lights "Ev'ry where I go." At other times, the images offer comfort and security, as large multicolored hands embrace the world's wonders and "the little bitty baby" is cradled in an adult's protective arms. Simple melody lines and an explanation of the origin and importance of spirituals are appended. Yet, Bryan's illustrations demonstrate more than words the dynamic inspiration that these songs still provide. Readers will find themselves humming as they turn the pages.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An extra-large trim size, a vibrant palette and Bryan's glorious cut-paper collage illustrations add up to a marvelous interpretation of three traditional African-American spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Intriguing endpapers show larger-than-life hands set against flowing stripes of color, with scissors and cut-paper shapes hinting at the arresting artistic style within. Children in silhouette are the main design element for the first two songs, with the final song illustrated with remarkable images of huge hands holding up different elements of the world. The volume's large size and brilliant colors make this a natural choice for a rousing sing-along with a group, and the musical notation for the songs is included. Incorporated into these final spreads with the music are concluding illustrations for every song, each focusing on a shining source of light. (author's note) (Nonfiction. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689847325
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 593,265
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.40 (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.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

    Wonderful book & illustrations!

    fun songs to sing with preschoolers. my grandkids love this book!

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    This Little Light of Mine!

    This book to me was personal because I've grown up to these songs. I can picture my grandma and my mother singing and teaching me these songs. The illustrations are beautiful, the weird thing about it is that its drawn the way I picture it would be in my head. I really enjoyed this book and reflecting back on my childhood.

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