In Huntsville Alabama, 1962, peace between German scientists and American engineers bring about prosperity and happiness to scientific significance. Happiness, however, isn’t found everywhere.
Happiness can’t be found on a little girl’s face as she carries a picture of her feet. She is not allowed to try on shoes because she is black. Happiness isn’t found on the signs black protesters carry or in the eyes of the young black men and women who aren’t being served at a restaurant. In this beautifully and realistically illustrated picture book, Bass tells just a piece of African-American history during the Civil Rights Movement. Each section of the story is labeled with the month and year as a time guide through this journey to happiness, the planting of the seeds freedom. Though Bass’ picture book is a little too long for maybe a bedtime story, the historical topic of solving segregation is recommended for ages 5 to 8 and makes a wonderful library addition.
And to simplify that a bit, the good/bad list:
- Good-E.B. Lewis uses watercolors wonderfully! I definitely was that person who opened this book because of the cover image. (I also had a portfolio review by him back in 2015. I was terrified because I basically did everything WRONG and was so nervous I didn’t really know my name or what medium I worked in. In the end, I got a signed copy of this book. I guess the meeting wasn’t a total catastrophe!)
- Good- Hester Bass has an author’s note in the back for more information on the abolishments of slavery and the time, patience, and justice it took for the abolishment. Interesting read. Also has a selected bibliography on the last page.
- Bad- Too long. I personally wouldn’t recommend this as a quick bedtime story, or one to read over and over and over again (though really, it’s the child who is the decision maker there haha.)
- Good- The theme of “planting the seed of freedom” is done nicely throughout book
And on to next monday! (night of course…or maybe tuesday)