Books by Michael Bryant

THE MEAN HYENA by Judy Sierra
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"The book is nevertheless a useful addition to folklore collections. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)"
How the hyena got his laugh, how the zebra got his stripes, and how the leopard got his spots are revealed in this African folktale. Read full book review >
COME SUNDAY by Nikki Grimes
Released: July 1, 1996

"Whatever their religious background, readers will smile at the jubilation. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Composed as a suite of pitch-perfect poems, Grimes (Portrait of Mary, 1994, etc.) affectionately portrays a young girl's enjoyment of the spirit and practice of Sunday services in her community's church. Read full book review >
TREEMONISHA by Angela Shelf Medearis
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Lively; the long text is a pleasure to read out loud. (Picture book. 7-11)"
A wonderful prose retelling of Scott Joplin's opera, set in Arkansas in the 1880s, in three acts brimming with dancing, preaching, and hustling. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1995

"The accessibility of the plainspoken style coupled with the volume's topicality may engage those who normally avoid this genre. (Poetry. 10+)"
In a slim volume of 40 short poems, all but two written in the first person, Medearis speaks directly and unpretentiously to young people's everyday concerns: school life, appearance, family tensions, dating, peer pressure, the puzzle of one's future. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 1994

"(Picture book. 3-8)"
An exuberant story in which a little girl invites others on the playground to join in celebrating their differences in appearance; as they slide and swing, play chess and checkers, examine nature, rollerblade, run, and play leap frog, they acknowledge that they have light or dark skin, curly hair or straight, eyes of blue or brown, and so on—which may be ``perfectly remarkably strange'' but is also ``delightful, simply out-of-sightful.'' The cheerful faces and colorful outdoor scenes in Bryant's vibrant paintings harmonize so well with the bouncy rapping that children will clamor for an immediate reread; a second time round could be a natural opening for discussions of physical differences, which in turn may lead to talk about other kinds of similarities and differences. Read full book review >
OUR PEOPLE by Angela Shelf Medearis
Released: March 1, 1994

"Bryant debuts with realistic watercolors; he uses inset vignettes with mixed success (some of his compositions are overbusy), but the subtlety with which he captures some of his characters' expressions is appealing. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Another excursion through African-American history, lightly veiled as interaction between parent and child. ``Daddy says our people built the pyramids,'' confides the narrator, wishing—as she builds a precarious-looking structure of blocks—that she'd been there to ``help[ed] them with the plans.'' Similarly, she imagines exploring with Columbus, leading people to freedom like Sojourner Truth (as she pulls a wagonload of dolls), and farming out West (she rides on Daddy's back). Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1992

"Glossary; index. (Biography. 7-12)"
One of seven new entries, all by the McKissacks, in the ``Great African Americans'' series. Read full book review >