cover image A Flag for Juneteenth

A Flag for Juneteenth

Kim Taylor. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5224-8

Basing this moving debut on a Juneteenth story quilt that she created, Taylor depicts the events of the first Juneteenth from the perspective of Huldah, an African American child whose 10th birthday is on June 19, 1865. Quilted images that employ myriad patterns and textures tell the story alongside lines that focus on reactions of formerly enslaved individuals in Texas. Following the announcement, women quilt freedom flags, children gather branches to make flagpoles, men carve designs into the wood, and Huldah climbs her favorite tree to capture sunlight in a jar. In a turn of events that melds the child’s birthday with the greater celebration, the community gives Huldah a hand-sewn freedom flag, to which she adds a star for freedom and the sunbeam for guidance. It’s a discussion-starting, personal-feeling portrait of a communal celebration. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)