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Lullaby (for a Black Mother
by Langston Hughes and Sean Qualls

Overview -

"My little dark baby, / My little earth-thing, / My little love-one, / What shall I sing / For your lullaby?" With a few simple words as smooth as a song, the poet Langston Hughes celebrates the love between an African American mother and her baby.  Read more...


 
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More About Lullaby (for a Black Mother by Langston Hughes; Sean Qualls
 
 
 
Overview

"My little dark baby, / My little earth-thing, / My little love-one, / What shall I sing / For your lullaby?" With a few simple words as smooth as a song, the poet Langston Hughes celebrates the love between an African American mother and her baby. The award-winning illustrator Sean Qualls's painted and collaged artwork captures universally powerful maternal moments with tenderness and whimsy. In the end, readers will find a rare photo of baby Hughes and his mother, a biographical note, further reading, and the complete lullaby. Like little love-ones, this beautiful book is a treasure.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780547362656
  • ISBN-10: 054736265X
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company
  • Publish Date: March 2013
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 4-8


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Bedtime & Dreams
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Parents

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-02-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

“My little dark baby,/ My little earth-thing,/ My little love-one,/ What shall I sing/ For your lullaby?” Hughes wrote this poem more than 80 years ago, but its playful language and informal lines sound startlingly fresh and modern. The poem’s images of night and innocence are well suited for a picture book, too. Qualls (Freedom Song) keeps his artwork simple, painting a series of spreads that hew closely to the words. He renders “A necklace of stars” with a bird flying around mother and child, leaving a trail of stars around the woman’s neck. “Moon,/ Moon,/ Great diamond moon” shows the white-gowned, long-haired mother floating among the clouds, holding her son up so he can see the shining disk in a dark, gray-blue sky. Swirls of grass and celestial orbs embellish daytime scenes, while the lights of tall buildings join with the stars above to form a backdrop for several nocturnal spreads. An afterword describes Hughes’s career. A quiet but welcome introduction to the writer’s work for the very young. Ages 3–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers. House. (Mar.)

 
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