Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Hands Sing the Blues

I received this lovely book in the mail recently, and I sat down to read it to my three-year-old the night it came. My Hands Sing the Blues is a visual journey through the life of Romare Bearden (who, call me uncultured, I'd never heard of before reading this). Romare Bearden, I now know, was considered "one of America's preeminent artists" and was best known for his collage-paintings. The illustrations are inspired by his style, and the text is inspired by the jazz and blues that inspired his art:

Rocking on her creaky swing, we hear the crickets chirp.
We feel the humming Magnolia Mill and hear the crickets chirp.
We gulp down warm tomato slices, trying not to slurp.

The rhythm of the writing is mellow and fun, and the book touches on important historical events that I hadn't considered how to approach with my son yet. This book helped create a good atmosphere in which to discuss segregation and how the world is better today. It's a lovely book.

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