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My People (Coretta Scott King Award - Illustrator Winner Title(s)) Hardcover – January 6, 2009


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My People (Coretta Scott King Award - Illustrator Winner Title(s)) + Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes
Price for both: $22.78

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Coretta Scott King Award - Illustrator Winner Title(s)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416935401
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416935407
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At just thirty-three words total, [this] poem is a study in simplicity, writes Smith (Rimshots; If); in its visual simplicity, his picture-book presentation is a tour de force. Introducing the poem two or three words at a time, Smith pairs each phrase with a portrait of one or more African-Americans; printed in sepia, the faces of his subjects materialize on black pages. The night, reads the opening spread, across from an image of a mans face, his eyes shut; is beautiful, continues the next spread, showing the same face, now with eyes open and a wide smile. The text, sized big to balance the portraits, shows up in hues that range from white to tan to brown-black, reflecting Smiths reading that the words celebrate black people of differing shades and ages. An inventive design adds a short, shadowed row or column of small portraits to the edge of many spreads; these quietly reinforce the concept of my people. Whether of babies, children or adults, Smiths faces emerge into the light, displaying the best that humanity has to offer—intelligence, wisdom, curiosity, love and joy. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. K Up—Smith's knack for pairing poetry and photography is well documented in books such as Hoop Queens (Candlewick, 2003) and Rudyard Kipling's If (S & S, 2006). Here, his artful images engage in a lyrical and lively dance with Langston Hughes's brief ode to black beauty. Dramatic sepia portraits of African Americans—ranging from a cherubic, chubby-cheeked toddler to a graying elder whose face is etched with lines-are bathed in shadows, which melt into black backgrounds. The 33 words are printed in an elegant font in varying sizes as emphasis dictates. In order to maximize the effect of the page turn and allow time for meaning to be absorbed, the short phrases and their respective visual narratives often spill over more than a spread. The conclusion offers a montage of faces created with varying exposures, a decision that provides a light-filled aura and the irregularities that suggest historical prints. A note from Smith describes his approach to the 1923 poem. This celebration of the particular and universal will draw a wide audience: storytime participants; students of poetry, photography, and cultural studies; seniors; families. A timely and timeless offering.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I was surprised to see just how much the book said with hardly any words.
THOMAS COUSIN
The book was very touching and also the pictures in the book were just excellent and very detailed.
Rachel
Charles R. Smith Jr. does a wonderful job translating Langston Hughes poem into pictures.
JessieJessJess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are only thirty-two short words in Langston Hughes poem, My People, a poem he used to celebrate his black heritage. Charles R. Smith, Jr. stunning visual translation "capture(s) the glory, the beauty and the soul of being a black American today."

My People

The night is beautiful,

So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,

So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.

Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

I loved the visual effect of the sepia photographs set against a black background. The thought that Smith put into this book is obvious, the result breathtaking. This book is a page turner for young and old alike and one to be revisited time and time again!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sepia photographs paired with the eloquent words of Langston Hughes capture the essence of being a black American today. Images of the night, faces, stars, eyes, sun and souls all embody the lives of "my people." This is a timely book for the election year, which celebrates the souls of black America. It will appeal to children ages 3-6.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bridget on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A few short words say a lot when added to these beautiful photographs of "My People". Its a beautiful piece of work!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The images match the words of this beautiful poetic piece. Makes it come alive as the reader reads the words and looks at the faces.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This quick little story is so cute and brought joy to my soul. Just seeing the faces amongst the few words written on the pages said SO much!

The book was delivered quickly and was in excellent condition.
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By Tshepo on December 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would have loved to have read a Langston Hughes poems first then understand the beautiful pictures taken by Charles R Smith Jnr that would made me appreciate the depth of pride these guys are telling me about my people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a most gorgeous book. I am glad that that Mr. Smith decided to create it. The poem
remains one of my favorite and the photographs simply add to the beauty of it.
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By Kate on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book of stunning photography to accompany Langston Hughes' inimitable celebration of the diversity and beauty of the Afrucan American community.
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