Review of H Is for Harlem

H Is for Harlem H Is for Harlem
by Dinah Johnson; illus. by April Harrison
Primary    Ottaviano/Little, Brown    48 pp.    g
7/22    978-0-316-32237-9    $18.99

This engaging and beautiful alphabet book features and celebrates not only Harlem’s history, including the Harlem Renaissance, but also contemporary figures and iconic places that bridge ­Harlem’s past and present. From the Apollo Theater, Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Brownies’ Book to food, sports, and the arts, there is something here to spark any of a wide range of interests. Equal parts love letter and travelogue, this book is a virtual trip through the sights and sounds of one of New York City’s most iconic neighborhoods. Harrison’s (What Is Given from the Heart, rev. 1/19) vibrant paint and collage illustrations are equally adept at representing the ­historical and the contemporary. Every inviting spread is alive in color, detail, and respect for the subject matter. This book is a starting point to learn more about one of the most important artistic, cultural, and intellectual incubators of Black culture in the United States. What a splendid way to learn the alphabet!

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University, and is enrolled in a PhD program at Florida State University.

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