Synopses & Reviews
What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.
Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it—vast and beautiful.
"The popular spiritual finds new life as a picture book celebrating diversity and community. An African-American boy is at the heart of the lyrics featured here experiencing the song's universal sentiments firsthand. The line 'He's got my brothers and my sisters in His hands' is accompanied by the boy's crayon drawing of his multiethnic family; the same family is shown flying kites in an illustration of 'He's got the wind and the clouds in His hands.' The greatness of Earth, moon and sea are also seen with awe through the boy's eyes. Nelson's (Salt in His Shoes) interpretation remains wide-reaching in its themes, yet still intimate via his protagonist's view. The warm, joyous result encourages readers to apply the song to their own lives and situations. The artist's mix of watercolor, oil and pencil creates often velvety-looking portraits and textured details in blades of grass or folds of clothing. A painting of the yellow-slickered boy in front of a wall of glistening green leaves, letting his face be splashed by raindrops is particularly engaging. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A Coretta Scott King Award winner ("Ellington Was Not a Street") adapts the beloved spiritual for this beautiful picture book, creating a dazzling interpretation that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.