- Age Range: 4 and up
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (October 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671866737
- ISBN-13: 978-0671866730
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.3 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Harriet and the Promised Land Hardcover – October 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
This powerful tribute to the courage of Harriet Tubman provides an ideal introduction to the work of African American artist Lawrence. Tubman's life is dramatically portrayed in stunning artwork, bold with bright blocks of color and informed by a keen sense of symmetry. As Tubman leads slaves to freedom, their cloaks of red, yellow and vivid blue are illuminated against the landscape. Lawrence's paintings honor their subjects; they are alive with a movement and complexity that contrast well with the sparse simplicity of the text. Brief verse pares Tubman's experiences to their essence. The text seems simple ("Harriet, Harriet, / Born a slave, / Work for your master, / From your cradle / To your grave"), yet it resonates with a wealth of emotions--anger, fear, jubilation. The rhythmic pulse of the verse conveys constant danger, the howl of a bloodhound pack closing in. This moving and beautiful book will stimulate interest in the artist as well as in his subject. All ages.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Gr all levels-Jacob Lawrence, one of America's most prominent African-American artists, presents the story of Harriet Tubman.
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The text is poetic. Early in the story, on a hot summer day in about 1820, "a group of slave children were tumbling in the sandy soil in the state of Maryland," Harriet Tubman among them. She dreamed of freedom and escaped, but returned to help others. The story builds as the selfless African-American leader risked her life many times to help others reach freedom. "Some were afraid, / But none turned back, / For close at their heels / Howled the bloodhound pack."
As the story closes, young readers find an enthralling figure of Harriet Tubman building support for the anti-slavery movement. At every convention within 500 miles, she could be found speaking in words and tones that brought tears to the eyes and sorrow to the hearts of all listeners.
Lawrence's paintings, made in tempera colors and poster paints, are poetic, too. Trained in the art workshops of Harlem in the 1930s, including the Utopia Children's House and the Harlem Art Workshop (sponsored by the New Deal), Lawrence became one of the finest African-American artists in U.S. history. His extraordinary talent was recognized when he was still relatively young.
Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he moved to Easton, Pennsylvania and then at seven to Philadelphia. At 13, Jacob moved again, to Harlem. Drawing on Bible stories and the powerful Christian sermons, often given on street corners, Lawrence remembered orators who spoke with reverence of Harriet Tubman and determined to show the African-American struggle for freedom in his art.
The Tubman series was one of Lawrence's earliest. It predated by only a couple of years the 60-panel migration series that made Lawrence's career in 1941-42. Half that series was bought by the Philips Gallery in Washington D.C. and the other half by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
But Lawrence's Tubman work is among his best. This book's only shortcoming is that it does not reproduce all of the Tubman paintings. Several were excluded and can be seen only in an art museum, or the pages of an art catalogue. But don't let that stop you. Children will find themselves doubly enriched. Alyssa A. Lappen