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Bein' with You This Way Hardcover – March 1, 1994

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In an urban park, a friendly African American girl urges her young playmates to snap their fingers, tap their toes and sing along with her. Syncopated with a rap-like rhythm, her cumulative song illuminates the various physical dissimilarities among the people in the park--and comes to an expected conclusion: "Light skin. Dark skin. Long legs. Short legs. Thick arms. Thin arms. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Big nose. Little nose. Straight hair. Curly hair. Different-- Mm-mmm , but the same, Ah-ha! Now isn't it delightful, simply out-of-sightful, bein' with you this way!" Words give way to alliterative sounds on the concluding spreads ("Be-bop-a-doo-bop. Be-bop-boo . . .") and the verse's tempo accelerates as the child and her friends dance in a line and play leapfrog. Even more than Nikola-Lisa's ( Night Is Coming ; Storm ) bouncy, well-intentioned text, Bryant's full-page, ginger-toned watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations give the book its buoyancy and warmth. Ages 2-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-A sunny day, an urban park, and a multiethnic cast of characters form the setting for this ode to the beauty of diversity. A young African-American girl urges other children to snap their fingers, tap their toes, and sing along with her as she notices that- brown eyes or blue, big nose or small, straight hair or curly-everyone is different, yet the same. In spite of its positive, upbeat intent, the rhyme scheme is awkward, requiring a forced verbal interpretation to sound catchy. The mottled illustrations capture the mood of the sun-dappled, action-packed park, and the smiling children represent a veritable United Nations of humanity. More of a chant than a story, this title certainly has a commendable message and will be useful in filling requests for multicultural materials.
Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880000059
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880000052
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 10.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

W. Nikola-Lisa's interest in writing books for children began as an elementary school teacher. He is the author of numerous books for primary, upper elementary, and middle school readers, including the following award-winning books: Bein' With You This Way, Shake Dem Halloween Bones, and How We Are Smart. Some of his recent publications include Dragonfly: A Childhood Memoir; Dear Frank: Babe Ruth, the Red Sox, and the Great War, a work of historical fiction set in Boston in 1918; and Hey, Aren't You the Janitor?, a collection of humorous stories about life on the road as a children's book author. An accomplished storyteller and musician, Mr. Nikola-Lisa enjoys sharing his writing and publishing experiences with audiences young and old whenever possible. For more information about Mr. Nikola-Lisa visit his website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Markley on September 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful, versatile book. I teach a 4-year old Pre-K class and I originally chose this book because it focuses on the fact that while people may all be different from each other physically, we can all enjoy each other's company. I have a very mixed class racially, and it is always a priority of mine to have available literature who's illustrations portray a range of races, especially books that do not specifically deal with a race's holiday or special event. I want to draw attention to the fact that we do not only see non-white, non-"typical" children only at certain times of the year. When I got the book out from the library and began reading it, I discovered that it was also enjoyable to read and listen to. It's writing has a very rhythmic, sing-song quality that appeals to my students. The art work is a mix of watercolor and colored pencil, and depicts people of all races and ages playing together at a park. My children regularly pick this book out of the book area and ask that I read it to them, and as they hear it more and more they begin to speak parts along with me. What a joy it is to have a book that really reaches out to my children that strongly. I have just added the book to my wish list so that I can have a copy for myself, and hope that my own children enjoy it as much as I do so I continue to have a reason to read it at home as well as at school.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Brown on September 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
My daughter is 5 years old. She's no stranger to learning about differences between people's appearances, but this book was different in a positive, important way. Half-way through our first reading, she said for the first time ever "hey mama it just doens't matter what who [anyone] looks like!" She also picked up the repetitive, sing-songy-ness of this book after only a couple pages, retelling me the story as we went. She has requested for me to read this book more than any other & she continues telling it happily to herself while she plays. I believe this is an excellent addition to any home or early childhood education library, but especially for the musically inclined kids.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Vines on January 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a brilliant tool for reaffirming my children's bicultural identity. My kids, three and a half and seven, absolutely love this book. It's beautifully illustrated with text that's easy enough for children to join along in the reading. This book has rhythm and my kids sing as much as they read. It's one of the best teachers of diversity I can give my bicultural kids at this point. We're still reading it two years after I ordered it! Thank you Nikola-Lisa for writing it.

Carolyn Vines, author
black and abroad: traveling beyond the limitations of identity
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eastcoaster on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
My son is only 2 years old and he enjoys this book tremendously. The illustrations and words in this book captivates his attention. I do not really care for the recording tape which comes with the book, but the book itself is great. I usually do the rap and sing the words of the book myself without the tape. My son gets a kick out of that. He already knows the words of the book and likes to sing it.

This book is a great learning tool to teach children about diversity and multiculturalism.
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