Talkin' 'Bout Bessie

Nikki Grimes, Author, E. B. Lewis, Illustrator, B. Moser, Illustrator Orchard $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-439-35243-7
Historic flights take the spotlight in two fall titles. Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes, illus. by E.B. Lewis, recalls the life of the world's first licensed African-American female pilot through 20 eulogies, fictionalized perspectives based on actual people. ""I remember that bone-chillin' January day in 1892/ when Bessie's first cry raised the roof/ off that dirt-floor cabin, back in Texas,"" Bessie's father, George Coleman, begins. Newspaper editor Robert Abbott tells of her enrollment in a French flight school (""No flight school/ in our color-minded nation/ would accept a woman, or a Negro""). Lewis's elegant inset portraits appear alongside the words of each speaker; full-bleed, full-page paintings illustrate dramatic moments in Coleman's life.
Reviewed on: 11/01/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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