THE BEATITUDES by Carole Boston Weatherford


From Slavery to Civil Rights
by and illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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The Beatitudes serve as a backdrop to African-American history from enslavement to the present day. Narrated by God, each page contains a few powerful sentences about a specific moment, explaining how He comforted His people at the time. God was the star guiding Harriet Tubman north, the lamp lighting the way at Tuskegee, the microphone for Marian Anderson and the shoes of the citizens who walked during the bus boycotts. Some of Ladwig’s watercolor-and-pastel illustrations, particularly Emmett Till’s casket scene and the beatings in Selma, mark this as a picture book for older children. Light, larger type with the words of the Beatitudes scrolls along the bottom of each illustration. Unfortunately, the text is cut off by the page edges and often does not match the historical scene above. For example, “Blessed are they that mourn” accompanies the illustration explaining the founding of Black churches “where African Americans / could praise the Lord and shout ‘Hallelujah!’” Distracting design elements mar an otherwise heartfelt book. Included are brief biographies of each luminary. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5352-3
Page count: 34pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2009


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