Books by Sean Qualls

LULLABY (FOR A BLACK MOTHER) by Langston Hughes
Released: March 19, 2013

"Share with little ones needing a gentle lullaby. (note, further reading) (Picture book/poetry. 2-6)"
An urban setting with a calming palette complements the soothing, loving tone of Hughes' poem celebrating an African-American mother and her baby. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"The desire to live free is powerful, and this story celebrates one man's amazing journey to achieve that end. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)"
When his wife and children are sold away, an enslaved man devises an extraordinary means of escape to the North and succeeds. Read full book review >
GIANT STEPS TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Spike Lee
FICTION
Released: Jan. 4, 2011

The opening two pages of inspirational quotations from men and women both famous and not-quite serve as a de facto table of contents for a series of collages and accompanying homilies (often quite clunky ones) from the Lees. Read full book review >

SKIT-SCAT RAGGEDY CAT by Roxane Orgill
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

The author of accomplished biographies about Mahalia Jackson, Fred and Adele Astaire and others contributes a gem about Fitzgerald's early life in Yonkers and Harlem. Read full book review >

LITTLE CLOUD AND LADY WIND by Toni Morrison
FICTION
Released: Feb. 23, 2010

The award-winning mother and her son once again join forces for a picture book. Read full book review >

WHO WILL I BE, LORD?  by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 27, 2009

In this substantive yet never heavy offering, an African-American girl reflects on the people in her family, wondering, after lovingly considering each: "And what will I be, Lord? Read full book review >

PHILLIS’S BIG TEST by Catherine Clinton
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 7, 2008

Phillis Wheatley was named for the slave ship that brought her to Boston. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2008

Weatherford's compressed poetic homage to Coltrane's early influences relays biographical details through metaphors evoking sound: "Before John was a jazz giant, / he heard Grandpa's Sunday sermons, / Mama playing hymns for the senior choir, / and the scoutmaster's call to join a band." Read full book review >

DIZZY by Jonah Winter
Kirkus Star
by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Sean Qualls
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

The syncopated rhythms of bebop form the backbeat to this introduction to Dizzy Gillespie. Read full book review >

HOW WE ARE SMART by W. Nikola-Lisa
POETRY
Released: May 1, 2006

Anchored by massive resource lists for adults in tiny type at the back, these 12 thumbnails attempt, not very successfully, to introduce to young or inexpert readers the idea of "multiple intelligences." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2006

A work born out of love for the man and his poetry, this biography-in-verse pays tribute to Juan Francisco Manzano, who lived between 1797 and 1853. Read full book review >

THE BABY ON THE WAY by Karen English
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 6, 2005

A child's question to his grandma opens a window to another time and place in this intimate, intergenerational conversation. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

Taken from a variety of sources, including speeches, letters, essays, and poetry, powerful words of eminent African-Americans tell the history of the struggles to achieve freedom and then equality. Read full book review >