A father shares an important holiday with his daughter.
Mazie is unhappy because it is bedtime, and she would much rather stay up. She snuggles up to her father, who tells about a big celebration that will occur tomorrow—“on a day we call Juneteenth.” It begins with “Great, Great, Great Grandpa Mose,” who is a slave in the cotton fields until June 19, 1865, when freedom is finally proclaimed in Galveston, Texas. Dancing and celebrating in the streets greet the news. Equality does not necessarily follow, but the day is always remembered. Protests, education and forgiveness, continues the father in his narration, are part of the story, which culminates with the inauguration of Barack Obama. He promises Mazie a day of good food, fun and remembrance. Cooper’s story is straightforward and aimed at an early-elementary audience, but it provides sufficient information to use with older children as an introduction to Juneteenth, which is marking its 150th anniversary in 2015. His full-page artwork—oil paintings in softly textured yellows and browns—captures the tender relationship between a father and daughter and the sadness and pride of their family story. Broad sweeps of history are encapsulated in double-page spreads focusing on determined, prayerful and happy faces.
A quiet and informative picture of belated emancipation. (afterword) (Picture book. 4-9)