My Hand Sings the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

Jeanne Harvey, illus by Elizabeth Zunon. Marshall Cavendish, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5810-4
Harvey weaves collage artist Bearden's recollections of his North Carolina childhood into a first-person memoir, casting the lines as blues lyrics, which gives the book a slow, rocking rhythm. Newcomer Zunon's illustrations combine folk-style portraits of Bearden's family with flat collage elements as Harvey recounts the Bearden family's move north during the Great Migration. For the first time, the Beardens became passengers on the trains that Romare and his great-grandfather had watched together—trains that would later figure into his collages. It's a soft-spoken exploration of the ways in which experience is transformed into art. Ages 5–8 (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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