"When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him." This simple, yet potentially double-edged Ashanti proverb begins Javaka Steptoe's picture-book debut, a powerful collection of poems celebrating African American fathers, by new and established African American writers. Breathtaking, evocative mixed-media spreads--bedecked with beads, burlap, and buttons--earned Steptoe's brilliant collection the 1998 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and the 1997 Reading Magic Award. A full-time artist and art teacher, Steptoe is the son of the late John Steptoe, also an acclaimed children's book artist. Regarding the process of creating the book, Steptoe says, "I was able to think about my father and how he affected me, and how I affected him, and give something to him by honoring his memory."
One selection, "Black Father Man" by Lenard D. Moore, begins, "Black Father Man, / the supreme earth dweller. / We are his ripe black crop / at the beginning-of-the-harvest. / We all bleed his blood / summer-hot and thick / summer-hot and thick / as unstrained milk. / Black Father Man, / the word-music messenger." Steptoe's accompanying artwork depicts men planting seeds and children growing, using actual dirt, leaves, seeds, paint, and cut paper to communicate the regenerative "we are his ripe black crop" spirit of the poem. In Folami Abiade's title poem, readers will soar high with the boy in his father's arms: "I am big and strong & proud like him / in daddy's arms / my daddy." Other contributors--including Carole Boston Weatherford, Michael Burgess, Davida Adedjouma (editor of The Palm of My Heart), and more--add humor and power to this extraordinary tribute to fatherhood. (All ages) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Grade 3 Up?This innovative, stunningly illustrated picture book celebrates the role of fathers in the African-American experience. The artist illustrates 13 poems with collages made from paper with pastel; applique; and a multitude of found objects, including fabric, coins, seashells, buttons, sand, seeds, and leaves. The artwork vibrates with emotion; even the simplest pieces, showing torn-paper figures on a solid background, capture the powerful bond between parent and child. The poems, written by Angela Johnson, Davida Adedjouma, Carole Boston Weatherford, and others, depict fathers working in the fields and in post offices, playing basketball, fishing, tickling, or hugging. Steptoe's own poem, "Seeds," is a tribute to his father: "You drew pictures of life/with your words." Libraries will want this title for Black History Month, National Poetry Month, Father's Day, or anytime a patron asks for a book about fathers. Teachers will find it inspiring in classroom units on poetry, or it can be used in conjunction with David Diaz's work to demonstrate collage techniques in an art class. Whatever its use, this lovely book deserves a place on library shelves.?Dawn Amsberry, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great images. It will be my gift for my nephews for years to come. Also gave a copy to a male friend.Published 11 months ago by Deborah Singletary
i thought that this was a story book that my son could read with my grandschild. its a poetry book and its not so bad.Published 24 months ago by shopaholic
Dynamic Daddy through Dynamic Poetry
Teacher, teacher, tell me how to express my love to my dad! How do you respond to a demand like that? Read more
I originally got this book for Father's day to read to my students. After reading it, it really made me look at fathers a different way, and for those that are fathers in their... Read morePublished on May 21, 2011 by Stacey
I used this book for a vespers service at my church in which I combined the topics of Juneteenth and Fathers' Day. The illustrations are colorful and well-suited to the poetry. Read morePublished on June 23, 2009 by A. Acker
This book contains a collection of African American Poems about fathers. We also enjoyed this one quite a bit. Read morePublished on January 25, 2008 by Heidi
My sons and I share a love of the verse in the poem "Tickle, Tickle," which is our favorite in this beautifully illustrated collection of poetry.Published on April 22, 2005 by AC