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OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR by Michelle Cook

OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR

A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change

By Michelle Cook (Author) , various (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 & up

Pub Date: April 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59990-418-7
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Taking its inspiration from the saying that emerged during the 2008 presidential campaign—“Rosa sat so Martin could march. Martin marched so Barack could run. Barack ran so our children can soar!”—this book takes readers step by step through American history from freed slaves in the Civil War to the future, touching on Hattie McDaniel, Ruby Bridges, Thurgood Marshall and other African-American “Pioneers of Change” along the way. Each page turn is devoted to one Great, illustrated by one of 12 noted African-American illustrators (and Diane Dillon). The patterned text provides unity and continuity, while the varying artistic styles keep the visual energy high. As with any effort of this ilk, the pressure of a compressed production schedule can be seen in some oversimplified compositions and rushed lines, but at its best, it soars too. The Dillons’ study of George Washington Carver is a miracle of botanical intensity; AG Ford’s Jesse Owens sprints off the page. Thumbnail biographies of each figure appear at the end, along with brief statements from each illustrator. All in all, a lovely and suitably moving commemoration. (Picture book. 5 & up)