Posted tagged ‘Folktales’

Black History Month Authors and Illustrators

February 17, 2012

Black History Month is ticking away, and my library students are busy celebrating the African American experience with books. They have discovered a wide variety of genres written and illustrated by some awesome African American writers and artists.

Picture books, poetry, folktales, historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction have been discussed, passed around, checked out, and enjoyed. It’s heartwarming to see students get excited about books they wouldn’t ordinarily choose. They’re learning to step outside of the box for a new literary experience.

What we’ve come to know during our author/illustrator study is that being exposed to different cultures and ethnic backgrounds enhances our knowledge of the world around us.

We grooved to the rhythmic words in Jazz written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers. We tapped our toes to Leo & Diane Dillon’s Rap A Tap Tap Here’s Bojangles – Think Of That! We learned what it’s like if you have a passion to succeed in For the Love of the Game written by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Lessons of love and acceptance came our way in The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis and Show Way also by Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Richard Wright and the Library Card written by William Miller and illustrated by Gregory Christie and SitIn How Four Friend Stood Up by Sitting Down written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney demonstrated the hardships black Americans were up against in their struggle for equal rights.

We’ve looked at works by Jerry Pinkney, Virginia Hamilton, Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Floyd Cooper, and Rita Williams-Garcia. We’ve been wowed by their talent and impressed by their numerous literary awards.

Celebrate Black History Month. Read. Learn. Enjoy.

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” ~Carter Woodson, 1926

Celebrate Black History Month with Ashley Bryan’s Work

February 14, 2012

Ashley Bryan is a remarkable author, artist, and storyteller. His body of work is impressive as can be seen by the numerous awards that have been bestowed upon him. He has won the Coretta Scott King Book Award for his illustrations and six Honor Awards. He delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture in 1990. Other awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Regina Medal.

Ashley Bryan began drawing, painting, and creating books when he was very young. His use of vibrant colors in his work is both eye-catching and enticing. He has continued to create magic in books throughout his lifetime, using poetry, folktales, Negro Spirituals, and African Proverbs.


He is passionate about books and reading and encourages young readers to spend time with a book to become a reader. He tells children to listen to the book and let the book and art speak to them.

From Ashley Bryan's LET IT SHINE

Ashley Bryan is an intelligent, charismatic speaker, who is an inspiration to children. Here is a man whose work should be celebrated and shared not only during Black History Month, but every month.

Here are just a few of his many books.

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