Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Bronzeville Boys and Girls

Bronzeville Boys and Girls

Spring 2007 Poetry
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Gwendolyn Brooks
Illustrator: Faith Ringgold
ISBN: 978-0-06-029505-9
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:
The late Gwendolyn Brooks left behind a distinguished legacy as a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and Illinois Poet Laureate, marking her as a significant figure in both African–American studies and in the world of literature in general. Originally published in 1956 this vivid new picture book about life in Chicago's Bronzeville area during the 1950s introduces today's children to Brooks' clear poetic voice, and teaches a valuable lesson about the universality of childhood experiences. Just as in neighborhoods elsewhere in the world, Bronzeville boys and girls go to birthday parties, say goodbye to beloved pets, plant gardens and simply daydream.

Each poem tells the story of a young Bronzeville resident from his or her point of view. “Narcissa” imagines herself to be “an ancient queen / In pomp and purple veil,” while “Paulette” loves nothing more than to run in the sun. The language is clear and simple, yet manages to capture the essence of each person and paint a larger picture of the area itself. Renowned illustrator Faith Ringgold's energetic paintings perfectly complement Brooks' text.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.


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