Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney Biographies

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.



When I was at the library a couple of months ago, I randomly picked up Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp-Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney. I knew Ms. Davis Pinkney's name and knew I needed to read something by her. After reading Step-Stomp-Stride, I was so glad I did! I immediately wrote a review and posted it sharing my love of a new-to-me author. Not long after the review, my tweep Alyson (aka one of the hosts of NF Wendesday) told me that if I loved that first Pinkney/Pinkney book, there were many more out there for me to read that were just as wonderful- boy, she was right.
     Today I wanted to share with you four non-fiction picture books I read by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney:

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa- a scat cat narrates the life of Ella Fitzgerald and how she found a home in the jazz world. The scratchboard illustrations done by Mr. Pinkney were so exquisite and truly showed the extent of his artistry.

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra- a jazzy dog narrates Duke Ellington's story that shows how he found his passion and his influence on the jazz era. It was no wonder this book was honored by the Caldecott committee and the Coretta Scott King committee as the illustrations are vibrant and well done (scratchboard like the Ella book) and the words are filled with amazing word choice and figurative language.

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down- This was my favorite of the bunch. The combination of the powerful story, poetic writing and a bright, colorful artistic style makes this book so powerful. Figurative language fills the book and the story is linked back to the Civil Rights Movement by the timeline presented in the back.

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation- Music and history intertwines in the Pinkneys telling of the Montgomery bus boycott. Once again Brian Pinkney switches up the artistic style to fit the mood of the book.

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