Saturday, February 20, 2021

The People Could Fly

Virginia Hamilton
illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon 1993

 I can't think of a better pairing than Virginia Hamilton and Leo and Diane Dillon. Hamilton's collection of folktales are rich with dialect, clever animals, supernatural characters, exaggerated situations, and stories of freedom from slavery.   I really appreciated her notes at the end of each one, explaining the historical significance or language or expounding on the story. 

" Remember that these folktales were once a creative way for an oppressed people to express their fears and hopes to one another.  They lend themselves well to being read out loud, as they were told out loud so long ago....These tales were created out of sorrow.  But the hearts and minds of the black people who formed them, expanded them, and passed them on to us were full of love and hope.  We must look at the tales as a celebration of the human spirit."

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