Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker
Author: Kathryn Lansky
Illustrator: Nneka Bennett
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: January 2003
GoodReads Summary: A vision of dignity and freedom and a powerful role model for girls and women of all races.
"This impressive picture book will delight young readers as it gives a sense of this remarkable woman and the times in which she lived." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
"Lasky's engaging account moves smoothly through events in Walker's life. . . . The illustrations . . . are attractive and rich in historical detail." — BOOKLIST (starred review)
What I Think: I love reading or hearing stories and fictional stories are wonderful but when I think about the history of stories it makes me realize the true power of a narrated non-fiction story. Before writing even existed or before writing existed for all people, storytelling was how information was passed from generation to generation. Through listening to stories, kids would learn lessons and be guided as they grew up and had their own experiences. I think books and stories still do this but I really enjoy how this book brings to light an influential person of her time and gives readers some perspective. Non-fiction that brings to life historical figures whose stories aren't as prevalent as others is so important. Through reading these kinds of texts, we are reminded that someone had to do everything for the first time at one point. So many things have been accomplished at this point in our history and we have far surpassed these first but it's still important to recognize who were the pioneers at one point in our history.
Recently, my sister became a consultant for Arbonne. She really enjoys the product and is having fun with the business side of the endeavor. When I read this book about Madam Walker, I instantly thought of my sister. Madama Walker paved the way for independent beauty consultants of today. I love the connection to the person who led by example and who is being emulated years and years later. I also love the connection to the story of resiliency and persistence in the face of of hardship. There is true inspiration in reading the story of someone who accomplished something before you. It's great to be innovative and different and fresh but it's also comforting to know that someone else has done it and survived and thrived and made a difference because of it. I really enjoyed reading Sarah Breedlove Walker's story and being able to make connections to things happening in the world today. It gives a great perspective to where we have been and how far we have come.
Read Together: Grades 3 - 5
Read Alone: Grades 5 - 5
Read With: Other non-fiction by Kathryn Lasky, Dear America and My America series by Kathryn Lasky and others, American Girl books by various, Chains (series) Laurie Halse Anderson
Snatch of Text: "To escape their troubles, Sarah and Louvenia would walk down to the river and watch the passengers getting off the ferry from Vicksburg. Sarah loved to see the women travelers. Their thick hair pouffed out like glossy blossoms from under beautiful big hats. She could almost hear the swish of the fancy dresses, but something more than the women's clothes caught Sarah's eye - it was their proud looks, the confident way they held their heads and carried themselves." p. 9-11
Mentor Text For: Making Connections, Making Inferences, Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were determined to accomplish something.
Topics Covered: Hope, Family, Determination, Perseverance, Entrepreneurism, Hard work, Generosity