Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Nikki Giovanni graciously agreed to answer the questions we like to ask every author: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: No single book. The poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks was an impact, however.
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Sula by Toni Morrison, Great American Spirituals, and The Godfather.
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: "You're the best."
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: A cup of coffee, my rocking chair, the sun just rising through my left window.
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: "I tried."
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Lorraine Hansberry
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: I would fly.
From School Library Journal
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
No one is going to hold this book in their hands and say that it isn't one of the loveliest creations ever to hit the children's book market. Bryan Collier, by all accounts one of the nicest guys on the globe, has never received the respect and attention he so richly deserves. My hope is that someday he illustrates a book worthy of a Caldecott Award rather than a Caldecott Honor. Unfortunately this was not the book. It is through no fault of his own, of course. Mr. Collier has taken his trademark watercolor and collage technique and given it a purposeful yellow hue.Read more ›
The Rosa Parks story stands alone as one of substance. But this book falls short of providing a readable story for children. It doesn't flow as good writing should for any age group, but rather jumps around and tries to provide so much data, that it fails to actually tell a story about the great lady it was written to commemorate.
If you have enough history about the story and can tell it yourself to your children, the book may be worth buying for the illustrations alone. For my money, I would rather find something that is also a good read for my kids.
Furthermore, Ms. Giovanni doesn't pretend that the events on the bus were an unforeseeable coincidence. I find the lead up to be both personal and portentous of things to come. It reads better as being opportunistic rather than engineered or manipulated and I don't think that she portrays Rosa as lacking intention. In fact, I imagine that Ms. Giovanni's source (as I have read) was her meeting with Rosa Parks herself. I expect that, in person, the truth of her story reaches a deeper personal level and Ms. Giovanni felt able to build on previously documented interpretations. Everyone has a voice and with the warm, expressive pictures, I find it an effective combination for children.
Bryan Collier's illustrations are genius. Each one is a discussion within itself.
Excellent book if you are a teacher or parent who likes to not only read to your children, but also question and discuss beyond the text. Wonderful! Well deserving of the King award for illustrations.
Buy it for Giovanni's magical and powerful words.
Buy it for Collier's amazing pictures.
Don't buy it if it's intended to teach children who are wholly uninformed about American history. I had six immigrant teenagers read this book, and all they could tell me after they were finished was that Rosa Parks was a lady who was thrown off a bus because of white people. They weren't sure why. And then a bunch of people walked to Washington D.C. afterwards, but they weren't sure how this connected to Rosa getting thrown off the bus. In the end the teens were really confused.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This information book is an inspiration to all.
The story with its accurate depiction is one to use in my classroom.
The illustrations are superb.
This book won the Caldecott Honor book award AND also received the Coretta Scott King Award winner as well. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rosa Cline
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