A collection of poems written by Afro-American children celebrating what it means to be Black.
The 20 pieces that Adedjouma gathered from writing workshops are not poems but thoughts, musings, and statements occasionally infused by a poetical phrase or notion. The themes are arranged seamlessly, and the selections are life-affirming, brimming with self-awareness, and written in a celebration of African American culture. The real story here is the glorious art by picture-book newcomer Christie, who displays a fine-arts sensibility that is incorporated into his illustrations, looking as if the influence of African art has been distilled through Klee and Picasso in the 1920s, with a touch of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Yet Christie's art remains all his own. Elongated limbs and abstract backgrounds emphasize the skill of his portraiture, drawing viewers to the astoundingly accomplished painting of individual faces. His interpretations of the text elevate its feeble nature and allow every page and double-spread to convey a distinct story, mood, or tribute to the culture. With an introduction by Lucille Clifton.