Books by Deloris Jordan

CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2012

"Not likely to be a life-changing inspiration to any, save diehard Michael Jordan fans. (Picture book/biography. 4-7)"
Michael Jordan's mother returns for another story about her famous son's childhood. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 26, 2010

A baby is born and he will "always be loved with a love that knows no bounds." So begins Jordan's characterization of parental love and support. The illustrations depict the family through the years, as the infant becomes a toddler and then a boy with dreams of his own. Unfortunately, as the text takes on religious undertones the prose becomes labored, as does Ransome's talented brush. The artist's photo-realistically rendered illustrations, done in a warm palette, tenderly portray a devoted African-American family. However, the choice to interpret the text literally confines the illustrator, whose best work is loose and spontaneous. Here he struggles to find a balance between mimicking reality and expressing it. Despite these drawbacks, the overall work, with its simple design and single-sentence structure, has an appeal until the end, when a previously used image is duplicated, leaving readers to wonder whether there was a lack of artwork or an editing mistake. Regrettably, it's distracting enough to diminish the thoughtfulness of the story. An unsatisfactory execution for what was a lovely idea with an ideal author-and-artist pairing. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
MICHAEL’S GOLDEN RULES by Deloris Jordan
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 23, 2007

Michael Jordan's mother and sister return with another story about his childhood, this one more didactic than Salt in His Shoes (2003). This one is a baseball story, wherein young Jonathan is upset after losing a game. His friend Michael and Michael's Uncle Jack see this as an opportunity to teach Jonathan the ten golden rules of baseball, starting with "Know the game" and "Be a team player" and ending with "Practice, practice, practice" and "Have fun!" Jonathan follows the rules and plays hard, though his Badgers lose anyway, and he and Michael assure themselves that they feel good "because we all played together and gave our all." Though purported to be a family story, it is only a vehicle for the moral, and has no energy of its own; even Nelson's usual dramatic images cannot breathe any life into it. Someone, somewhere, needs to think about some golden rules of writing for children. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
DID I TELL YOU I LOVE YOU TODAY? by Deloris Jordan
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2004

A mother tells her child all the ways she demonstrates her love as they experience the events of daily living. Making sure her child is healthy, clean and well-fed, encouraging learning, listening and ensuring security are all opportunities for saying, "I love you." Mother takes time to play and chat and teach, giving her child individual attention. She prays both morning and night that everything she does is understood as an expression of love. Evans's bright, energetic illustrations, rendered in oil, are large-scale, stylized depictions of these activities. What sets this apart is that the protagonists are an African-American mother and child instead of the usual cutesy animals. In the manner of Guess How Much I Love You and other gentle evocations of parental and familial love, this is a tender read-aloud that might become an often-repeated bedtime ritual for the very young. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

Mother and sister combine to tell of a sweet-natured family reminiscence based on the childhood of America's most famous athlete: the one and only Michael Jordan. In this fable, Michael's own special brand of hoop dreams begins on a Saturday morning. Older brothers Larry and Ronnie play a regular pick-up game on a local court, which Michael is desperate to join. The tallest boy in the game, Mark, seems to sense Michael's intensity and strong competitive urge. In fact, every time "Mikey" joins in, replacing no-show older kids with longer legs and far greater reach, Mark focuses especially on him—stealing the ball and winning the game. Michael feels the loss acutely. He even apologizes to his brothers, who understand and remind that after all, he's the smallest player in the game. Once home, Michael takes a time-out with Mama, who's cooking dinner for their large and active family. When Michael confides his desire to be tall. Mama, as usual, has the answer. "We'll put salt in your shoes and say a prayer every night. Before you know it, you'll be taller!" Young Michael does what his Mama suggests. Salt and prayers. But he adds one more thing—practice, practice, practice. Michael wore "his game shoes everywhere." But after a few months, downhearted that he hasn't grown as fast as he'd hoped, he has a one-on-one talk with Daddy. His counsel is as wise as Mama's: " ‘ . . .you've already got everything it takes to be a winner: right in here.' Daddy tapped Michael on his chest." Buoyed, Michael rushes to the court and scores the game-winning two-pointer—over the head of Mark. Nelson's paintings add zest and child appeal though the book's design and look makes it seem like a companion to dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen's Dancing in the Wings (p. 1190), which Nelson also illustrated. This can be a source of soul-satisfying inspiration for kids who will probably read it as pure fact. But is it? Probably not. Professional athletes of Jordan's caliber and talent have already achieved mythic proportions. Put this next to the shoes, ball, and Bulls jersey under the tree. (Picture Book. 6-9)Read full book review >