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We Came To America by Faith Ringgold

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$ 64.00
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$ 64.00
Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers
Binding : Hardcover
Pages : 32
Publication Date : 5/10/2016
Condition : BRAND NEW
A timely and beautiful look at America’s rich history of immigration and diversity, from acclaimed artist Faith Ringgold, the Coretta Scott King and Caldecot Honor winning creator of Tar Beach. Vividly expressed in Faith Ringgold’s sumptuous colors and patterns, We Came to America is an ode to every American who came before us, and a tribute to each child who will carry its proud message of diversity into our nation’s future.   America is a country rich in diversity -- From the Native Americans who first called this land their home, to the millions of people who have flocked to its shores ever since. Some of our ancestors were driven by dreams and hope. Others came in chains, or were escaping poverty or persecution. No matter what brought them here, each person embodied a unique gift—their art and music, their determination and grit, their stories and their culture. And together they forever shaped the country we all call home. From School Library Journal K-Gr 3—As Americans wrestle with the moral and legal aspects of immigration, Ringgold offers a reminder of the country's multifaceted lineage—and of the beauty to be discovered at cultural crossroads. The artist has repurposed a title she applied in 1997 to a story quilt; it featured a revolt on a slave ship whose beacon was a black Statue of Liberty. Here she broadens her scope. After she acknowledges that "some of us were already here" and "some of us were brought in chains," her free verse unfolds with a line or two on each page touching on reasons for immigration and the solace and joy found in sharing "our food, our fashion, and our art…." A refrain emphasizing the country's ethnic and religious plurality punctuates the occasionally rhyming stanzas. The poem is paired with tableaux of families from various time periods and places, as if their portraits were captured the moment they stepped on American soil. Vibrant paint on canvas provides a changing, high contrast backdrop for the parade of patterns and styles, from the bold geometrics of African cloth and the pinstriped suits and fedoras of Europe to the decorative tunics and elaborate headdresses of Eastern communities. A final scene depicting a gathering of diverse children concludes that despite differences, "we are ALL Americans,/Just the same." While the message is a time-honored one, it clearly needs to be foregrounded. VERDICT The simplicity of Ringgold's text, combined with the captivating designs, makes this a compelling, must-have narrative for a wide audience.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library