February is Black History Month
Celebrate and Honor the accomplishments of Black Americans and actively support all efforts to fight against social and economic injustice!
• Today, we’re celebrating with Picture Books, Crafts, and Activities •
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
About The Book
Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation’s oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Oge Mora and a rising star author Rita Lorraine Hubbard.
In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who–with perseverance and dedication–proved that you’re never too old to learn.
DOWNLOAD THE OLDEST STUDENT book activities here!
from Penguin Random House
The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne
About The Book
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
“I’ve had a box seat on history.”
Ethel Payne always had an ear for stories. Seeking truth, justice, and equality, Ethel followed stories from her school newspaper in Chicago to Japan during World War II. It even led her to the White House briefing room, where she broke barriers as the only black female journalist. Ethel wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions of presidents, elected officials, or anyone else in charge, earning her the title, “First Lady of the Black Press.”
Fearless and determined, Ethel Payne shined a light on the darkest moments in history, and her ear for stories sought answers to the questions that mattered most in the fight for Civil Rights.
Make your own Newspaper
About The Book
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award! From a New York Times bestselling author and an acclaimed illustrator comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves.
Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves.
Her string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul,” multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Aretha didn’t just raise her voice in song, she also spoke out against injustice and fought for civil rights.
This authoritative, rhythmic, Coretta Scott King Illustration Award-winning picture book biography will captivate young readers with Aretha’s inspiring story.
MAKE a Microphone
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
About The Book
This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.
EXPLORE GAMES and ACTIVITIES
LEGACY: Woman Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
About the Book
From Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance–paired with full-color, original art from today’s most talented female African-American illustrators.
For centuries, accomplished women–of all races–have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts.
In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses “The Golden Shovel” poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work.
Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today’s most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon.
Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author’s note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish.
DOWNLOAD these POETRY ACTIVITIES
MAE AMONG THE STARS
About The Book
Little Mae is a girl with big dreams, a supportive loving family, unbounded passion, and all the right stuff to dance among the stars. Against all odds, she will overcome any obstacle to become an astronaut one day.
This hardcover picture book, written by debut author Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington, is not the typical picture book biography. It’s accessible and bursts with color, which makes it perfect for young readers who also have big dreams and even bigger hearts! Timely and inspiring, this book is a tribute to a woman whose belief and tenacity turned her into a modern-day hero. Mae’s story will inspire children to persevere, even in the face of doubt, and remind them that if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible.
Craft a Rocket Launcher!
MEGAN CAHILL-ASSENZA – is from Northport, NY, and a recent Children’s Literature Fellow from Stony Brook University. A writer, filmmaker, and animal lover, Megan is pursuing a career in children’s literature. She currently works in the Academic Tutoring Center at Suffolk County Community College.
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