Friday, January 15, 2010

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride


by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
New York: Disney, 2009. unpaged. Picture Book
"She was big. She was black. She was so beautiful." Thus begins the Pinkneys version of Sojourner Truth's story. Tall, strong, hard-working, Belle's (Sojourner's) size worked against her as a slave. Sold away from her "master" at age nine, she was sold twice more before she gained her freedom and took the name Sojourner Truth because she aimed to travel hither and yon, telling things as they were and as they should be. Andrea Pinkney's prose reverberates with the step-stomp of folk dance tradition, and husband Brian's nuanced and golden pictures (Sojourner wreathed everywhere in glory) crackle with luminous energy. One of the best picture books of 2009, Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride should give any child a memorable introduction to black history.

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