I was just thinking last night, as I tucked no one into bed, (Kenna lives in North Carolina, Mitch was at a friend’s and Spence had a football-watching overnight at his Papa’s house since there is no school for him today) how I miss reading books out loud to my kids.
Books at bedtime used to be a big production around here. We didn’t just read. Often we acted out entire plots!
With today being Martin Luther King Jr day and since Black history month is soon to roll in, let me share two favorites I used with my children when they were small to teach them about African-American heroes and history.
Check for them at your local library or order them online if you want to own them.
Here they are, along with their descriptions:
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation–and even of running away to freedom.
Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad.
In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land–a freedom quilt–that no master will ever suspect.
For ages 5-10.
Click here to buy on Amazon.com.
Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
Winter’s story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper).
A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song’s directions.
Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors.
The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that’s compelling. A fine rendering of history in picture-book format.
For pre-school to grade two. Click here to buy on Amazon.com
Older kids might like any of the dozens of books out about the life of Harriet Tubman, a conductor on the underground railroad.