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Let it Shine [Hardcover]

Ashley Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

List Price: $16.99
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Book Description

January 9, 2007 4 - 8 yearsPreschool - 3
This little light of mine,

I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine,

let it shine,

let it shine.


With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power of these beloved songs simply emanates through his joyous interpretations. Come, sing, and celebrate!

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Let it Shine + All Things Bright and Beautiful + Beautiful Blackbird (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 5—Bryan's vibrant illustrations interpret and energize three beloved songs: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Although the artistic style is similar to that in All Night, All Day (Atheneum, 1991), here Bryan uses intricate cut-paper collages to accompany the lines of text at the bottom of the pages. Energy and movement course through many of the full-bleed illustrations, as when children-depicted in rainbow-colored silhouettes-use a boat, an airplane, a bicycle, and other means to carry their lights "Ev'ry where I go." At other times, the images offer comfort and security, as large multicolored hands embrace the world's wonders and "the little bitty baby" is cradled in an adult's protective arms. Simple melody lines and an explanation of the origin and importance of spirituals are appended. Yet, Bryan's illustrations demonstrate more than words the dynamic inspiration that these songs still provide. Readers will find themselves humming as they turn the pages.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The inspiring words of three well-known spirituals, "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," are matched with powerful construction-paper collage illustrations. Each double-page spread of this oversize picture book is an explosion of shapes and bright colors. Stocky figures, silhouetted against swirling colors are created from geometric shapes woven together. Rather than conceive a story to accompany the lyrics, Bryan presents series of scenes to reflect each set of lyrics. Children dance around with candles and march with saints; God holds a world of colored objects in his hands. The musical notation and lyrics for each song appear at the end of the book, as does a brief note from Bryan about the history of the spiritual and the changes he made in some of the lyrics. This will be hard to read without breaking into song. Randall Enos
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689847327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689847325
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the sun shine in September 30, 2007
Format:Hardcover
You could take the amount that I know about African-American spirituals and fit it into the hollow of the ear of a flea with room to spare, I think. Put bluntly, I don't know much. As far as I can figure it my spiritual knowledge begins with the song "This Little Light", continues through "When the Saints" and ends somewhere around "In His Hands". Awfully considerate of Mr. Ashley Bryan to select those three songs in particular for his picture book collection of three classic spiritual songs then, eh? Earlier in the year I sent out a query asking for people to tell me about the books that could win the Caldecott and the title that got the most mentions was "Let it Shine". A book that I had not A) Heard of or B) Seen. I'm correcting this great wrong right now and though I'm not the kind of person who normally goes gaga over cut paper, Mr. Bryan has done some pretty slick stuff with just some colored pulp, a pair of scissors, and some of the finest folk songs in the world.

From the very first page Ashley Bryan's vibrant images just leap at you. Three spirituals vie for your attention. In "This Little Light of Mine" children are seen carrying lights in all kinds of containers and sources as the words to the song appear below. With each verse, Mr. Bryan finds an eclectic way to bring these lyrics to life. The same can be said for the other songs as well. Within an ever shifting series of hues, tones, shades, and colors, people are seen praying and singing. They laugh and dance. "Oh When the Saints Go Marching In" shifts from light to dark and the book ends with a blow-out production of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands".

I was first introduced to Mr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let It Shine February 12, 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is a beautifully illustrated presentation of three spirituals. Ashley Bryan uses cut-paper collage masterfully to show the message behind the lyrics. These illustrations offer many opportunities for discussion. The three spirituals are ones familiar to most children: This Little Light of Mine, When the Saints Go Marching In, and He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. The book is a wonderful way to make a connection between the library and music class and is especially effective in the younger grades. During Black History Month, it is a wonderful way to show the great influence of African American music in the American musical experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Mother's Scissors June 1, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Of the thousands of Spirituals created by African-American slaves, Ashley Bryan chose to illustrate three of his favorites -- "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh ,When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." He took two pairs of scissors inherited from his mother and colored papers and created exquisite collage illustrations bursting with color that sweep and swirl across double-page spreads.

The artist, who frequently works in primary colors, has chosen a different palette of exciting, compelling,complimentary colors with yellows and golds, blues and purples, and browns predominating. Without a

speck of white background showing through, his stylized, multi-layered collages of flora and fauna, and people, mostly children in silhouette, dance across the pages. On one spread, illustrating the verse,

"Don't let Satan blow it out," two candle-holding children in bright colors face a swirling mass of cool grays, blues, and greens. It represents Satan trying unsuccessfully to blow out the children's lights. It looks ominous without being frightening. Filled with meaningful images, such as the image for God from the Ibo people of Nigeria, Bryan has an original, unequaled mastery of form and color. This book is a tour-de-force that is as beautiful from a distance as it is close up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASHLEY BRYAN IS BEAUTIFUL February 20, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In Ashley's note at the end of the book, he says about LET IT SHINE,
"...in an effort to create the most forceful illustrations that will capture the underlying meaning of the Spiritual" He achieved his goal.
The songs are familiar. The art is soaring.
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