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Jonda C. McNair

About Jonda C. McNair

Jonda C. McNair is a professor of literacy education at Clemson University in South Carolina. She is a past chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and a member of the 2019 Randolph Caldecott Award Selection Committee.

Review of Dragons in a Bag

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott; illus. by Geneva B Primary, Intermediate    Random    154 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-5247-7045-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7046-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7047-1    $10.99 There are two things you should never do when dealing with dragons. First, do not let them out of the bag; and second, do not feed them […]

Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of the expressed viewpoints in her […]

Review of Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin; illus. by Evan Turk Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-4349-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4350-0    $10.99 McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield (1915–1983) is known for his role in establishing the musical genre known as the “Chicago blues.” This picture-book biography begins with his childhood in […]

Review of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate, Middle School, High School    Candlewick    50 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-8094-7    $16.99 The title of this innovative poetry collection comes from Lucille Clifton, who wrote, “Poems come out of wonder, not out of […]