cover image The People Remember

The People Remember

Ibi Zoboi, illus. by Loveis Wise. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-06-291564-1

In her picture book debut, Zoboi employs magnetic, allusive free verse to describe the course of history as experienced by members of the African diaspora and enslaved African peoples. Simultaneously, the title demonstrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the seven-day African American holiday observance running from Christmas Day to New Year’s, through historical moments and movements and great Black literary voices, such as the beginnings of Motown music, the civil rights movement, and the work of Alice Walker, respectively. Zoboi’s lyrical verse (“While telling stories under the star-speckled sky/ about memories of the ancestors/ watching from way up high”) is further strengthened by Wise’s eye-catching digital illustrations, composed of lushly colored images realistic and fantastical, historical and contemporary, and painted with spectacular vibrance to portray the experience of African and African American people throughout time. A rich resource ideal for Kwanzaa and beyond. Back matter includes an author’s note, glossary, detailed timeline, and further reading resources. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)