Christmas Gif'

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9780688116675: Christmas Gif'

Introduction by Augusta Baker.

When Charlemae Hill Rollinss Christmas Gif was first published in 1963, it was greeted with much fanfare and celebration. Here, at long last, was the only collection of Christmas poems, stories, songs, and plantation recipes written by and about African-Americans. Ms. Rollins, an internationally renowned childrens librarian and advocate, was often asked by parents, teachers, and children for African American Christmas stories and poems. Born of a desire to share literature of the black experience with children, this book is just as important for families today as it was thirty years ago.

The writings of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Harnett T. Kane give us a deeper insight into the celebration of Christmas during slavery. Poetry by Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Lorenz Graham eloquently retell traditional Christmas tales. And Countee Cullen and Gwendolyn Brookss contemporary Christmas reflections add special warmth. These and all the voices in this collection combine to express the wonder and spiritual beauty of the season.

Award-winning artist Ashley Bryans stunning black-and-white linoleum-print illustrations make the reissue of Ms. Rollinss landmark work a cause for celebration again. For people of all ages, for families to read together, here is a gift for a new generation of readers to enjoy and cherish.

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About the Author:

Ashley Bryan's numerous awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, six Coretta Scott King Honors, the Arbuthnot Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship. He illustrated The Story of the Three Kingdoms by Walter Dean Myers, A Nest Full of Stars by James Berry, and How God Fix Jonah by Lorenz Graham. He also wrote and illustrated Beautiful Blackbird and All Night, All Day: A Child's First Book of African-American Spirituals. Mr. Bryan studied at Cooper Union in New York City and earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University. He lives in Isleford, Maine.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Thirty years after its original publication, this landmark anthology of poems, songs, stories, and recipes, by and about African-Americans, is welcomed back in handsome new dress, with a new introduction by Augusta Baker describing her part in the first compilation, an intelligent note from Rollins's son explaining the decision to retain the original language (``While some...may seem outdated, to make any changes would certainly alter the artistic intent...[The] language does not obscure the messages of peace, unity, and goodwill that still ring true...''), and splendid new linoleum-block illustrations--at once decorative, lively, expressive, and dignified. Among the 35 entries, the poems (some of Langston Hughes's were first published here) are a particularly rich resource. A book that belongs in every library. Index. (Anthology. 4+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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