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Let it Shine Hardcover – January 9, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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
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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
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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: 10 x 0.4 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Moffet on 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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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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I can only add that the images, colors and the songs make life so much lighter in a world that become heavy with social, political, professional, persona and international challenges. Thank God for Ashley Bryan. My heart is lighter still for the singing of the songs in his books and the images that stimulate my imagination.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good starter book for youngsters who are learning to read and learning about song lyrics. Everything that was stated about the book from the seller was accurate. The product was new as stated and I find that the illustrations were very eye-catching to my young one. This is also a great book to share with children during the month of Black History or to be shared with the children in our Sunday school services.
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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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My granddaughter is delighted with this book, so much so that she took it with her to Children's Church and shared it with her friends. I have no regrets purchasing this book for her.
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