OUR PEOPLE by Angela Shelf Medearis


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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). The upbeat story ends with the father encouraging the child with possibilities for her own future. The little girl's identifying -- in the past or future -- with those who are competent to effect change is the strength of an otherwise predictable run-through of key figures and events. 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.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum