Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Reading 2015 Juneteenth for Mazie

I always enjoy Floyd Cooper's beautiful illustrations and this book is no exception. As Mazie's father explains the history of Juneteenth to her, the scenes from the past fill the pages. There is her Great Great Great Grandpa Mose working in a cotton field. Here is the crowd celebrating in the streets of Galveston as the news of emancipation is announced. Some scenes are much more recent. Her father mentions, "They marched for jobs...shouted for opportunity" and we see a crowd crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. When he says, "They excelled and accomplished" there is President Obama being sworn in. The mix of past moments leading up to the present day celebration traces over 200 years of the history of the African American people. By explaining to Mazie what she will be celebrating and why, her father also explains the tradition of Juneteenth to readers of the story.

This would make a good read-aloud to accompany a unit on Civil Rights. The way the story begins with Mazie being upset at being told, "No," and then shows how Grandpa Mose heard that word so much more during his life, makes it an easy introduction to the topic for even very young students.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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