Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Harlem, Walter Dean Myers

In Case You Missed It

Harlem, a poem by Walter Dean Myers, pictures by Christopher Myers
Scholastic Press, 1997

This poem and children's picture book celebrates Harlem as the destination of hopes and dreams for many African-American people who came North during the Great Migration. The sights, sounds, and excitement of this new life are beautifully captured in the gorgeous, vivid collage illustrations by Christopher Myers. I loved this book because the words and pictures together make a very lively sensory experience - you can practically see, feel, and especially hear along with the book. The language is often musical: "A new sound, raucous and sassy," "cracked reed/soprano sax laughter," "A huddle of horns and a tinkle of glass." It is festive, describing the hustle and bustle of people going about their lives, but also reflective of hardship, and sadness. Worth reading through more than once, to really enjoy and savor the depth of the words and the pictures.

Caldecott Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Award

Happy reading!


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