-------------------------------Berkeley, CA | Member Since 2008
Kadir Nelson is best known for his beautiful, stunning paintings, but this narrative is wonderful. This history of America is told from the point of view of an African American grandmother telling the story of her country and her people. Debbie Allen brings this to life, just as Kadir's paintings do. The words, the tone, the spirit soar. Wonderful for family listening - absolutely inspiring and heartfelt.
The tone and spirit of Debbie Allen's narration reminded me of listening to Lynne Thigpen narrate The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, by Ernest Gaines.
Tony DiTerlizzi, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, has created wonderful illustrations to highlight his richly imagined world. Each chapter begins with a double-page illustration that captured my interest. I actually listened to this as an audiobook, but each night found myself pouring over the illustrations in the book. In some places, I found the text did not provide quite enough description, as it assumed readers were also looking at the illustrations.
Teri Hatcher's narration captured the voice of Eva perfectly, combining an annoying Tween girl's attitude with her mother's restrictions, with her wonder and fear as she explored this new world. DiTerlizzi has also created an interactive visual map which you access online through WondLaVision. This intrigues some students, but I found it hard to break away from my reading habits, bring the book to the computer, and explore this world.
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