When We Say Black Lives Matter

Maxine Beneba Clarke. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2238-8
With assured rhythm and poetic grace, Clarke offers this stirring epistle from a couple to their growing Black child, patiently enlightening them on the meaning of Black Lives Matter—surveying the phrase’s history and how it represents a call for justice, pride, compassion, and solidarity in Black experiences. Refrain-like repetition of “When we... that Black Lives Matter...” punctuates elegant text: “Darling, when we sing that Black Lives Matter,/ and we’re dancing through the streets,// we’re saying: fear will not destroy our joy,/ defiance in our feet.” A shifting typographic landscape highlights certain words in color while sentences dip and weave across the pages. Lightly tracing the maturing child’s journey from birth to graduation, dynamic watercolor pencil illustrations rendered in an earthy palette, and enhanced by jewel-toned stained glass motifs, follow abstract Black figures across textured cardstock. At once a solemn eulogy, stirring paean, and tender triumph of a book. Ages 6–9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/23/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Children's
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