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Friday, July 12, 2013

Picture books


Ever since I was born and could see, 
Everywhere I looked, I saw dance.
In the clouds as the wind blew them across the sky,
In the ripples on a pond,
Even in the sea of ants marching up and down their hills.
Dance was all around me. Dance was me.

Today I want to share two really lovely children's books with you. In my corner of the world it is very difficult to find picture books about black children. Can you imagine how happy I was when I found Dancing in the Wings! Not only is the girl in the book black and a ballet dancer, she is also very tall. My daughter was a tiny little baby when she was born, but now - at the age of nine - she wears clothes for a 16-year-old. The author must have had her in mind when she wrote this book!


The pictures by Kadir Nelson are just great. I love his work and I love this book.



The second book is about Mandela, written ànd illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

 

I have been looking for a children's book about Nelson Mandela for ages. Of course we told the kids about Mandela being the first black president of South Africa and his importance for the country where they were born.



 

But somehow I just couldn't tell them about apartheid. I mean how do you tell a child about racism? They grow up in a country where 45% of the population has a foreign passport, in a very diverse community that consists of +/- 60 different nationalities...they just wouldn't have understood. 
However when Mandela became ill and the kids told me they spoke about him with their teacher and classmates, I knew the time has come to start talking about that difficult subject. Kadir Nelson's beautiful book will be of such great help.