Books by James Weldon Johnson

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING by James Weldon Johnson
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"A bright blue predominates in intensely hued skies and school uniforms, while Collier's highly recognizable style incorporates watercolor and collage to meaningful effect. (illustrator's note, words with music) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)"
In his highly iconic reinterpretation of the beloved "Negro National Anthem," Collier was inspired by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Read it—better yet, sing it—to children, and let them pore over the powerful pictures. (musical notation, photo credits) (Picture book. 6+)"
Celebrating the centenary of the song frequently dubbed "The Negro National Anthem," this matches those stirring lyrics to equally heartfelt black-and-white photos. Read full book review >
THE CREATION by James Weldon Johnson
Released: April 15, 1994

"It's a measure of the poem's quality that it inspires such a rich variety of responses. (Poetry/Picture book. 4+)"
In the spirit of Johnson's poetic voice, which Ransome describes as ``influenced by the...imagery of nineteenth-century African-American plantation preachers,'' the romantic, sun- dappled paintings here are more literal than Carla Golembe's striking, boldly stylized art for her edition (1993) of this splendid verse retelling by the well-loved poet. Read full book review >
THE CREATION by James Weldon Johnson
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"An outstanding rendering, not to be missed. (Poetry/Picture book. 4+)"
``Then God smiled./And the light broke./And the darkness rolled up on one side./And the light stood shining on the other./And God said: That's good!'' This poem first appeared in God's Trombones in 1927; it's a wonderfully sonorous retelling, gracefully reflecting the story's nobility while renewing it with vivid imagery and an easy informality that never detracts from its dignity. Read full book review >
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING by James Weldon Johnson
Released: Feb. 12, 1993

"Music included. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 6+)"
With an introduction by Jim Haskins explaining how ``Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing'' (spelling changed only on the title page and jacket here) came to be written and became the ``African- American Anthem,'' a handsome setting. Read full book review >