Gr. 5-7, younger and older for reading aloud. Part of the oral tradition, this moving collection of 13 folk lullabies is a powerful way to communicate what family life was like under slavery. McGill collected the songs firsthand, and after each lullaby she talks about the people who sang to her as a child, where they heard the songs, and how they were passed on through the generations. The love and hope are here as are the anguish of separation and the nonsense ("Joe went to de pig pen. Slipped an' he fell in"). Opposite each song is a handsome full-page quilt collage contributed by Michael Cummings, which poignantly illustrates what McGill says about slave mothers saving "Every Little Bit." There's full musical notation at the back, and a CD of the songs, sung by McGill, is included. The people's words are achingly beautiful, and the combination with history and personal experience makes this an enduring collection. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"From the opening guitar notes that accompany McGill’s sweet, assured voice, listeners will know they’re in for a treat." Publishers Weekly, starred review (10/9/00) Publishers Weekly
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"This wonderful book and CD combination is truly a treasure for all ages." Book Page 9/00
"Sing these songs with younger children or explore them more deeply with an older crowd. Both will result in a rewarding experience." SLJ 12/00 School Library Journal