News/Reviews


For upcoming and recent News/Reviews for MAYA LIN: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines and Author appearances, here's the latest scoop ... 


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HURRAH! 2013 Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award for Picture Book Biography

I'm very honored that The Gelett Burgess Center for Creative Expression has chosen MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey for the award of Picture Book Biography for 2013.

http://gelettburgesscenter.com/2013_honors.php

"The Gelett Burgess Children's Book Awards advisory council looks for books that entertain and teach with an energetic and creative approach. The books the Center selects must stimulate the child's imagination, as well as inspire them creatively. Advisory council members want to know a book will make an impact in a child's life by helping them grow: socially, emotionally, ethically, intellectually, and physically. "

The book will get another gold sticker for the front cover of the book ... I love those shiny stickers!

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I'm so pleased and honored that CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (Jan/Feb 2013) - Journal of the Association for Childhood Education International featured MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey in "Books for Children - Biographies That Inspire Readers":


"While numerous children's books have been written by and about this famous artist, MY HANDS SING THE BLUES makes a mark in its ability to weave together the many aspects of Romare Bearden's rich life. The jazz-inspired lyrical text and artistic use of painted scenes with collage seamlessly tells and shows his childhood journey; both are obviously influences by Bearden's artistic work, his love of jazz and trains, and his passions for social and political issues. As the child (Bearden) in the text creates his own collage, he is reminded of the people and experiences in his life who have guided him in his journey. This book is sure to inspire not only children but also adults to 'take it slow and steady,' in order to better understand our past the and the empty canvas ahead."


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Thank you! On January 25, 2013, this blog received the Pot-O-Gold Blogger Award: Picture Book Biographies.  Christie Wright Wild of Write Wild explains:

"This months's Pot-O-Gold Blogger Award goes out to an AWESOME blog I recently discovered.

Why I love her blog:

Having written a biography myself, and coming from a teaching background, I am fascinated with biography. She even shares the publisher, publication date, and number of pages. Thank you!"


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I'm so excited to learn that MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey will be the focus of upcoming children's programs at museums and schools:

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART (Washington D.C.) - "Winter Story Series" Feb 16, 23, 17 and 24, 2013: 
FRED JONES MUSEUM OF ART (University of Oklahoma) - "Art Adventures" May 7, 2013
CARNEGIE PICTURE LAB PROGRAM - donating books for a Romare Bearden art program at participating schools and libraries during the 2012-2013 school year



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New interview!** Thank you to the terrific children's book author, Audrey Vernick, for interviewing me on her wonderful blog, LITERARY FRIENDSHIPS. Her questions are so thoughtful and insightful. And read my review of HER book, Brothers At Bat - The True Story of An Amazing All-Brothers Baseball Team on this blog!

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I'm so incredibly honored to be chosen as the 2012 International Reading Association Children's and Young Adult Book Award Winner in the Primary Nonfiction category! 

I greatly appreciate these selection criteria: 

** The awarded book should be truthful and authentic in its presentation of information and attitudes as they existed at the time and place which the story reflects

** The awarded book should encourage young readers to read by providing them with something they will delight in and/or profit from by reading. 


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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey  
has been chosen to be included in the list of the best children's books of 2011
by  The New York Public Library!  What an honor!

 The book is included in the picture book category of ...




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Not only a wonderful review of MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey on MomsGoneGlobal.com, but an absolutely adorable ** video**  of a six-year old boy reading his favorite page from the book! Guaranteed to make you smile!

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Read an author interview with Jeanne at The Children's Book Review

Check out Jeanne's new and recent events 

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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES -   Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
Publishers Weekly Review

" 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.)"

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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
advance review
 by Library Media Connection, January/February Advanced Reviews


 Ages 5-8— Hands aren’t known to sing, but in this picture book about the childhood of Romare Bearden, hands take on a new attribute. From snipping, to patching, to painting and pasting, this young Carolina boy finds his gift of visual creativity by using his hands to sing the blues. With a Great-grandma sharing the history of the land of the Cherokees to blues and jazz music, Bearden integrates a little of what he has experienced in his famous artwork. This book gives teachers and librarians an excellent source of the Great Migration North, life in the north and south, and how children can be inspired by it all. Illustrations incorporate collages and watercolor paintings in this biography. Children will stay attentive to the innovatively written text and colorful illustrations. Shiela Martina Keaise, Children’s Librarian, Colleton County Memorial Library, Walterboro, South Carolina. Recommended.

—      Library Media Connection, January/February Advanced Reviews


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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - 
Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

advance review
 by Booklist - November 2, 1011 issue

Ages 5-8—Bearden called his art “visual jazz,” and this handsome, fictionalized picture-book biography stays true to his rich connections to blues rhythms. With well-chosen quotes (all documented in appended notes), the rhyming first-person narrative in Bearden’s voice remembers the people and places of his childhood roots, and his memory “whirls back” to his growing up in the rural South and then his train journey north to Harlem. Echoing Bearden’s distinctive style, the richly textured collage art combines original paintings with paper, fabrics, and photos to show Bearden as a small boy watching trains pass until he and his parents get on a train themselves, and he sees the world whizzing past: “A patchwork quilt of greens and gold.” The moving climax shows and tells Bearden’s approach to work, blending his roots with improvisation: “When I put a beat of color on an empty canvas, / I never know what’s coming down the track.” A lively introduction to the artist for young children and for older readers, too.

—      Hazel Rochman, Booklist, November 1st  Issue
 
 
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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
reviewed by Kirkus Reviews

Harvey presents an imagined first-person narrative in the form of a blues poem by master collage artist Bearden.

Romare muses from his New York studio, conjuring his train journey as a 3-year-old with his parents, from North Carolina to Harlem during the Great Migration from the south to the north. In a note, Harvey comments that Bearden drew analogies between his artistic process and jazz improvisation, which fuels her approach. Drawing inspiration from the artist’s collage Watching the Good Trains Go By (reproduced within), 14 of Harvey’s 21 verses focus on the trip, from tearful goodbyes with great-grandparents to the onomatopoeia of the train’s sounds and the chance sights rolling by. “I spy a woman by a washtub, stirring, staring up at me. / I wonder what she’s thinking, staring up at me. / Maybe that tomorrow so far away I’ll be.” The talented Zunon’s pictures intriguingly combine realistic faces, stylized landscapes and photo-collage that pays homage to Bearden’s art...

The interplay of poetic and visual metaphor makes for a striking presentation; adults who can appreciate and chant the bluesy poem as well as sensitively interpret the pictures together with children are the ideal collaborators in savoring this intriguing work. (author’s note, source notes, resources) (Picture book. 5-8)                  Read full review

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MY HANDS SING THE BLUES - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
reviewed by School Library Journal


Gr 2-5–Bearden was one of the great artists who came out of the remarkably fertile Harlem Renaissance. His collages invoked many images that represented the struggle of African Americans as they sought to live productive lives after generations of repression and bondage. Inspired by his painting Watching the Good Trains Go By, this homage to the artist incorporates his love of the blues and jazz and takes the shape of a standard blues song with its repetition and varying rhythms. It tells the story of Bearden’s childhood and how his experiences ultimately shaped his art.

Practicing it as a read-aloud is a must to ensure conveying the flow of the “song” to the audience. The accompanying artwork is beautifully done in oil paint and mixed-media collage and will introduce the medium to those children not already acquainted with it. Seeing how a story can be told through bits and pieces of paper or fabric that are cut and glued together is a wonderful message sure to inspire budding artists.

Pair this book with Claire Hartfield’s Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Life and Art of Romare Bearden (Dial, 2002) to fill out the artist’s life story. A great addition to an existing collection of art books and certainly to the books for children on Bearden.– 

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Kindig, Associate Professor, Reading Education - James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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More reviews of 
MY HANDS SING THE BLUES -  
Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey ...