This unusual tribute celebrates America's diversity in its landscapes, both urban and rural, its wildlife, but most of all its people: "We hail from every shore." The text is a poem by Gilchrist, 13 lines in three stanzas. Both Bryan and Gilchrist illustrate the poem in alternating spreads: his signature color swirls work in tandem with her muted, blue-toned tableaux and faces. Teachers will appreciate the layered message of the poem: that it's our differences that make America one. The words have the potential for choral reading or dramatization, especially since each line of verse is a question directed to the reader: "Have you seen my country? / Seen my magic skies? / Seen my mighty waters? / Have you seen my land?" The full poem is printed on the last page. Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Jan Spivey Gilchrist illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award Book Nathaniel Talking, the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Night on Neighborhood Street, and Me & Neesie, all written by Eloise Greenfield. She wrote and co-illustrated My America with Ashley Bryan, which was named a Parents' Choice Recommended Award winner. An inductee into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, Ms. Gilchrist received an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and a doctoral degree in English from Madison University. She lives near Chicago, Illinois.
Ashley Bryan's numerous awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, six Coretta Scott King Honors, the Arbuthnot Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship. He illustrated The Story of the Three Kingdoms by Walter Dean Myers, A Nest Full of Stars by James Berry, and How God Fix Jonah by Lorenz Graham. He also wrote and illustrated Beautiful Blackbird and All Night, All Day: A Child's First Book of African-American Spirituals. Mr. Bryan studied at Cooper Union in New York City and earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University. He lives in Isleford, Maine.