Sitting Pretty: A Celebration of Black Dolls

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9780805060973: Sitting Pretty: A Celebration of Black Dolls

Through her collection of black dolls, Dinah Johnson imparts a poetic message of pride and self-esteem.

Walk across the bridge --
it's not so hard to do --
look straight ahead and don't turn back,
your sisters are waiting for you.

Dolls are playthings. Dolls are keepsakes. Dolls are magical. In elegant poems and striking photographs, dolls from around the United States and as far away as the Caribbean, East Africa, West Africa, and South America are brought together in celebration of the human spirit.

Dinah Johnson's poems -- sometimes gentle and joyful, often bold and courageous -- embrace the strength and imagination of many cultures. Eboni and Kiani, Sonia and Retta, and over thirty other dolls in this collection march proudly to their own voices and rhythms. Children and doll lovers of all ages will find beauty and inspiration in this extraordinary picture book.

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About the Author:

Dinah Johnson is the author of Quinnie Blue, illustrated by James Ransome; Sunday Week, illustrated by Tyrone Geter; and All Around Town, an NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. A professor of English and children's literature at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Johnson lives with her daughter, Niani, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Myles C. Pinkney is the photographer of several children's books, including It's Raining Laughter by Nikki Grimes. Mr. Pinkney says of his experience working on Sitting Pretty, "It was amazing to see how each doll took on a personality of its own." An acclaimed photographer whose work is exhibited around the country, Mr. Pinkney lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his family.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-6-Alongside photographs of dolls from the author's personal collection are her original poems about each one. Whether rhymed and metered ("Walk across the bridge-/the stream is not so very wide-/take one step then another/until you reach the other side") or free verse ("She flies in friendship./She laughs in love./She jumps in joy/for joy"), her lines communicate the play, the beauty, and the tenderness that makers put into and that owners find in their dolls. And while any doll lover can appreciate this book, it is also a celebration of women and of African and African-American cultures. There is no table of contents or index, but the collection of 33 poems can be dipped into anywhere. Pinkney's full-color photos are set against white or various boldly colored backdrops, keeping the eye dancing, and thus seeming to set each doll in motion. Johnson speaks to the origins and spirit of the collection in her introduction, and appended "source notes" credit the makers when known and describe where each item was purchased. This is a book that speaks to children but will be well loved by adults, and should find many uses beyond its classification as poetry.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Johnson, Dinah
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2000)
ISBN 10: 0805060979 ISBN 13: 9780805060973
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Book Description Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110805060979

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Johnson, Dinah
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN 10: 0805060979 ISBN 13: 9780805060973
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