Michelle Martin

11 Articles

Last 30 days
Last 6 months
Last 12 months
Last 24 months
Specific Dates

Going Down Home with Daddy

Going Down Home with Daddy's back cover boldly announces, “Nothing is more important than family.” It's a palpable sentiment throughout the story. A Black family of four wakes before dawn to pack the car for a trip “down home” to Daddy’s family reunion, an event they surely attend regularly. During the drive,...

Black Kids Camp, Too...Don't They?: Embracing "Wildness" in Picture Books

My mother was a Girl Scout leader, my father was a Boy Scout leader, and my brother was a Tiger Cub in the Boy Scouts. Practically from the time I could walk, I tagged along with family to scout meetings and events. When I became a Girl Scout, and eventually...

Review of Hands Up!

Hands Up!by Breanna J. McDaniel; illus. by Shane W. EvansPreschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g1/19    978-0-525-55231-4    $17.99 In this affirmation of self-love for children of color, an exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo as a very young child, then, as she gets...

Review of What Is Given from the Heart

What Is Given from the Heartby Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by April HarrisonPrimary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-375-83615-2    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-375-93615-9    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-375-98800-4    $10.99 From the late Patricia McKissack, a story of giving — even when it seems one has nothing to spare. James Otis and his...

Field Notes: Camp Read-a-Rama: Learning to “Live Books”

Leader: Hey Nick.Nick: Yeah!L: Hey Nick.N: Yeah!L: Can you Gruff?N: Gruff-a-what?L: Can you Gruff?N: Gruff-a-lo.N: My hands are high, my feet are low, and this is how I Gruffalo. [Nick dances]All: His hands are high, his feet are low, and this is how he Gruffalos! [Everyone mimics Nick’s dance]All: Gruff-a-lo,...

Review of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a Kingby Andrea Davis Pinkney; 
illus. by Brian PinkneyIntermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    128 pp.1/18    978-0-545-70253-9    $19.99A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died. Henny...

Review of I Am Loved

I Am Lovedby Nikki Giovanni; illus. by Ashley BryanPrimary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    32 pp.1/18    978-1-5344-0492-2    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0493-9    $10.99A legendary pair presents a volume of verse worth remembering. Bryan’s recognizably vibrant, colorful, and moving illustrations accompany a selection of Giovanni’s poems (both new and previously published). The electric blue, sunny yellow, warm...

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla BurrisPreschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp.8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The...

Review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cutby Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. JamesPrimary   Millner/Bolden Books/Agate    32 pp.10/17    978-1-57284-224-3    $17.95e-book ed.  978-1-57284-808-5    $17.95Brown skin, a dimpled smile, and a fresh haircut worthy of a standing ovation. Barnes takes a weekly, mundane activity for an African American boy — a trip...

Stay Connected. Join our devoted community of librarians, educators, and parents in the world of children’s and young adult literature.