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Meet Danitra Brown

Meet Danitra Brown

by Nikki Grimes

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In 13 spirited rhymes, Zuri narrates her and Danitra's story, an unforgettable portrait of the many ways true friends manage to bring out the best in each other.


In 13 spirited rhymes, Zuri narrates her and Danitra's story, an unforgettable portrait of the many ways true friends manage to bring out the best in each other.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW gave these poems about the friendship of two African American girls a starred review, saying, "Anyone who has a best friend can relate to this realistic but bubbly volume." Ages 3-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
This is a wonderful portrait of two little girls, Danitra and Zuri, and their friendship. They enjoy the fun of bike riding, jumping rope and sharing their personal lives. Danitra is bold and independent, but also caring and greatly admired by her best friend Zuri. Warm, soft illustrations by Cooper capture all the nuances of the poems. An ALA Notable Book and A Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is an original collection of poetry that tells of the friendship between two African-American girls, Danitra and Zuri. When Danitra tells Zuri that some day she will win the Nobel Prize, Zuri knows that she speaks the truth. When kids tease Zuri about her dark skin, her Mama says, "Next time honey, you just say/ The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice." Copper's portraits of the girls are filled with wit and charm that reflect their personalities.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A collection of 13 original poems that stand individually and also blend together to tell a story of feelings and friendship between two African-American girls. Grimes creatively uses the voice of Zuri Jackson to share tales of the girls' moments of admiration, pain, self-assurance, pride in their cultural heritage, sadness, disappointments, play, and their thoughts and feelings about future dreams and aspirations. Cooper's distinguished illustrations in warm dusty tones convey the feeling of closeness. The poignant text and lovely pictures are an excellent collaboration, resulting in a look at touching moments of friendship with universal appeal.-Barbara Osborne Williams, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, NY
Hazel Rochman
A series of simple poems tells a friendship story in the voice of Zuri Jackson, who admires her spirited buddy, Danitra Brown. Their relationship is upbeat but unsentimental. They have lots of fun together riding bikes and jumping rope, and they help each other out with chores and problems. Zuri is sorry one time when she betrays her friend's secret, but they make up, and Danitra comforts Zuri when she feels bad that she has no dad around. Zuri loves the way her friend ignores the neighborhood taunts about her thick coke-bottle glasses; in fact, Danitra's proud example helps Zuri when the kids tease her about her very dark skin (her Mom tells her to say, "The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice"). Cooper's double-page spread oil-wash illustrations in rich shades of brown and purple are reminiscent of those he did for the poetry anthology "Pass It On". He sets the individual portraits within a lively city neighborhood, in changing seasons, indoors and out. We feel the girls' energy and their bond, in joyful games and in quiet times together.

Product Details

Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Nikki Grimes began penning poetry at the age of six. Her many award-winning titles include the picture books Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Meet Danitra Brown, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Coretta Scott King Author Honors went to her novels The Road to Paris, Jazmin's Notebook, and Dark Sons, and her novel Bronx Masquerade won the Coretta Scott King Author Award.

In 2017, Nikki Grimes was honored by the American Library Association with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in recognition of her substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

She lives in Corona, California.

Floyd Cooper received a Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in The Blacker the Berry and a Coretta Scott King Honor for Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Cooper received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and, after graduating, worked as an artist for a major greeting card company. In 1984, he came to New York City to pursue a career as an illustrator of books, and he now lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children.

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