HARLEM by Walter Dean Myers

HARLEM

Age Range: 5 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A hot new artist and his distinguished father fashion a picture book with a stirring sound at its center. Walter Dean Myers (Slam!, p. 1536, etc.) gives poetry a jazz backbeat to tell the story of Harlem, the historic center of African-American culture in New York City. To newcomers from Waycross, Georgia, from East St. Louis, from Trinidad, "Harlem was a promise." Listing the streets and the churches, naming Langston and Countee, Shango and Jesus, the text is rich with allusion. The imagery springs to life at once: "Ring-a-levio warriors/Stickball heroes"; "a full lipped, full hipped/Saint washing collard greens . . . Backing up Lady Day on the radio." A strong series of images of ink and gouache capture the beauty of faces, from the very old to very young, from golden to blue- black. Christopher Myers sets his scenes to match the streets, fire escapes, jazz clubs, and kitchens of Harlem, and makes them by turns starkly stylized as an Egyptian mask or sweet as a stained glass window. Put this on the shelf next to Chris Raschka's Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop (1992) and see if anyone can sit still when the book is read aloud. (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-590-54340-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1996




WORKS BY WALTER DEAN MYERS:

Children LOCKDOWN by Walter Dean Myers
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Adult 145TH STREET by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
Adult THE JOURNAL OF JOSHUA LOPER by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers
Adult MALCOLM X by Walter Dean Myers
by Walter Dean Myers

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