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SHOUTING! by Joyce Carol Thomas

SHOUTING!

By Joyce Carol Thomas (Author) , Annie Lee (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7868-0664-8
Publisher: Hyperion

A paean to “shouting,” the holy dancing that occurs in some African-American churches, this evocative picture book pairs a free-form poem with double-page spreads in warm colors and soft textures. Those unfamiliar with the practice may be confused by Thomas’s text, which describes a woman’s religious fervor from her daughter’s point of view and then links shouting to traditional African dance as well as contemporary dance styles. Her author’s note, however, sheds light both on her childhood memories and her adult understanding of this cultural phenomenon. Lee’s paintings are somewhat stylized with limited details and old-fashioned costumes. Her decision to use faceless characters is another potentially puzzling element. However, this choice may allow readers familiar with the practice to see it in a more universal light. Whether enjoyed as a long-overdue validation of personal experience or appreciated as a glimpse into an unknown world, this portrait of an African-American tradition is likely to be warmly welcomed. (Picture book. 4-8)