Tuesday, February 9, 2010

BHM: Corduroy and Whistle for Willie

The books I've highlighted so far are about Black History. The books I intend to highlight this week do not relate to historical events. But they speak of an aspect of Black History by their very existence. The first two (for yesterday and today) are books whose main character is Black, but they are both written by white authors. Tomorrow I'll bring us closer to the present with a book by a Black author. I haven't done any serious research, but I'm guessing there wasn't much support for Black authors in the 60's when these first two books were published.

Written in 1968 by Don Freeman, Corduroy is the story of "a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store. Day after day he waited … for somebody to come along and take him home.” Lisa wants him but mom dissuades her. She comes back later with the money from her piggy bank, and takes him home. Corduroy is a simple story of the friendship between a girl and a stuffed bear. My son has loved it for most of his life.

Written in 1964 by Ezra Jack Keats, Whistle for Willie is about Peter and his dog, Willie. Peter wants to be able to whistle for Willie, but he can't quite get it. The book follows Peter and Willie in their day's adventures.

Does anyone know of any good picture books with Black protagonists, written by a Black author before 1970? I'd be eager to find more 'classics'.

No comments:

Post a Comment