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Bronzeville Boys and Girls Library Binding – Jun 1967

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Library Binding, Jun 1967
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Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Jun. 1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060206519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060206512
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 17.8 x 22.2 cm

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

In 1956, Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks created a collection of poems that celebrated the joy, beauty, imagination, and freedom of childhood. She reminded us that whether we live in the Bronzeville section of Chicago or any other neighborhood, childhood is universal in its richness of emotions and experiences. And now a brand-new generation of readers will savor Ms. Brooks's poems in this stunning reillustrated edition that features vibrant paintings by Caldecott Honor artist Faith Ringgold.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Annie Allen and one of the most celebrated African American poets. She was Poet Laureate for the state of Illinois, a National Women's Hall of Fame inductee, and a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received fifty honorary degrees. Her other books include A Street in Bronzeville, In the Mecca, The Bean Eaters, and Maud Martha.

An award-winning artist internationally renowned for her painted story quilts, Faith Ringgold is also the author of thirteen children's picture books, including the 1992 Caldecott Honor Award-winning Tar Beach. Her artwork is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. She also has had exhibitions in major museums in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with her husband.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A tip of the hat to an all time great 28 May 2004
By E. R. Bird - Published on
Format: Library Binding
We needn't act so surprised that the great twentieth century American poet Gwendolyn Brooks wrote books of poetry for children. What could be more natural? This poet shares her gifts with the small people that inhabit her hometown (in this case, Chicago). What did surprise me was the original publication date of this title. Now I read through this entire collection of urban poetry and I had a fairly clear idea that these poems must have been written in the 1970s. After all, collections of poems featuring African-American children were just beginning to blossom after the Civil Rights movement. I was feeling pretty smug until I glanced at the date in question. 1956. So roughly twenty years before the United States understood the importance of creating children's literature for people from all walks of life, Gwendolyn Brooks was taking matters into her own hands.

"Bronzeville Boys and Girls" collects thirty-four short poems about children into a single compendium. Each poem contains the name of a child. This child is either the subject of the poem, or the person delivering it. Taken as a whole, the book feels like nothing so much as a slightly updated series of nursery rhymes. Brooks is an accomplished poet and there is something about the way her lines scan that feels old and established. Take, for example, this poem entitled, "John, Who Is Poor". "Give him a berry, boys, when you may/ And, girls, some mint when you can/ And do not ask when his hunger will end/ Nor yet when it began". For me, these poems acknowledge the struggles that all children, regardless of race, face in the world's poverty laden big cities. Though most the poems have an element of whimsy or light-heartedness to them, many are socially conscious. The boy who does not receive what he wants for Christmas reflects, "To frown or fret would not be fair/ My Dad must never know I care/ It's hard enough for him to bear". You won't find any poems about some of the harsher aspects of city living (drugs, prostitution, etc.) that are so common these days, in part because this book was published so very long ago. Also, it is written with a distinctly young age group in mind. Accompanying Ms. Brooks's verses are various illustrations by Ronni Solbert. The combination of words with images felt almost like a predecessor to Shel Silverstein at times, though I'd be hard pressed to tell you exactly why. It's just something about the occasional silliness of the children pictured.
At the moment, the big urban nursery rhyme crowd pleaser is the accomplished, "The Neighborhood Mother Goose". But that book just restructures old nursery rhymes for contemporary kids. Gwendolyn Brooks went so far as to create new and exiting nursery rhymes for the children of her day and age. Today, most of them read as crisp and clearly as they did the day they were made. There are some exceptions, of course. A couple poems feel a little stilted or overly formal towards the kids reading them today. But many are fine examples of superior writing. If you ever find that you are able to locate a copy of "Bronzeville Boys and Girls", I suspect that you will not regret the fact any time soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Poetry! 4 May 2015
By This Kid Reviews Books - Published on
Format: Paperback
What I Thought– This is a nice multicultural poetry book that takes place in the 1950’s (or sometime around then). The poems take place in the Bronzeville section of Chicago, but could be anywhere where there are kids. They are simple poems, narrating from a character’s view. I like how it shows how people thought back then (in one poem, a girl is lamenting that she won’t be able to run anymore because it’s unladylike). Ms. Ringgold’s illustrations add a nice, warm feeling to the poetry. Altogether, they are a great team for this book.
*NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Superb 11 Sept. 2013
By Amanda Fitton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The poetry and illustrations in this book combine to make it at rue joy and one of my treasured possessions
Four Stars 18 Jun. 2015
By Bucky - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read not only "to" children, but "for" adults!
Five Stars 18 Mar. 2015
By Stephanie Staton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Happy with my purchase. Delivered in excellent condition.
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