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WE ARE ONE by Ysaye M. Barnwell

WE ARE ONE

By Ysaye M. Barnwell (Author) , Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-205735-0
Publisher: Harcourt

Barnwell’s song speaks of the universality of humanity and the endless possibilities of life. “We are the breath of our ancestors. / We are the spirit of God. / We are Mothers of courage, / Fathers of time, / Daughters of dust, / Sons of great vision.” Pinkney’s watercolor-and-gouache illustrations capture the action and movement of children of all races and colors as he depicts children, friends and families gamboling on green hills or frolicking in a fountain. But while the text is composed of short phrases that appear simple, the words will be difficult for the intended audience to understand. An accompanying CD of Barnwell’s group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, features the group singing the song; the musicianship is superb, but the repeating fugue form will leave readers scrambling to find the text. The message is important, but the execution is at odds with the level of understanding of young children. (Picture book. 4-8)