Words of 'Wisdom' Lead to More

By Allport, Brandy Hilboldt | The Florida Times Union, February 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Words of 'Wisdom' Lead to More


Allport, Brandy Hilboldt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport, Times-Union staff writer

Oversize pages, creative typography and thoughtful presentation of paintings give African-American Wisdom (Courage Books, $19.98) the visual appeal of a coffee-table book. It is not aimed at a children's book-buying audience. Pick it up anyway if you are looking for a new way to introduce young readers to significant figures during Black History Month -- or any time.

Dozens of writers, scholars, civic activists, celebrities and political leaders contributed their philosophy on topics such as achievement, identity, humanity and hope to this compendium, which is appropriately subtitled A Book of Quotations and Proverbs. Art created by and featuring African-Americans accompanies each quote.

Use the grazing method to share the book with children. Sit down and flip through the pages. Stop whenever an illustration or an idea catches their eye. Perhaps it will the spread that includes Ella Fitzgerald's quote, "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." The quote will undoubtedly be a catalyst for youngsters to express their own aspirations. And when they ask, "Who is Ella Fitzgerald?" do not miss the opportunity to help them find the answer in another book.

See? The grazing method leads children from one literary pasture to another. The paintings in the book could work the same way. If the vivid colors and whimsical wedding scene in Dreams No. 2 by Jacob Lawrence catch a child's attention, suggest a trip to the library to find a book full of just his paintings.

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