An illustrated picture book of Langston Hughes’s classic 1926 poem about a Black boy listening to a relative’s shadow-crossed stories of slavery honors a culture’s history keepers.
Of particular interest to (and appropriate for) young readers ages 7-9, "Aunt Sue's Stories" is a unique and strongly commended pick for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections on racism, African-American history and biographies.
–Midwest Book Review, 01/17/2024
Award-winning illustrator Kelley delivers a reimagining of Langston Hughes' 1926 poem, Aunt Sue's Stories, in a beautiful new picture book. Honoring the tradition of Black storytelling, Aunt Sue tells a young child her own and others' stories about their history. She tells of the reality of enslaved people working in the hot sun and singing songs of sorrow to pass their stories through the generations. Aunt Sue remembers, and those memories cross and recross in dark shadows across her face. The young boy realizes the depth of her stories, and he is quiet, listening to them, realizing none of them ever came from a book. This new picture book is a gorgeous rendering of Hughes' poem. Each picture is beautifully paired with the text and evokes emotion, curiosity, and empathy in the reader, as if they are sitting alongside the young boy, listening to Aunt Sue. This book is appropriate for elementary and middle-grade readers. It is best as a read-aloud so that students may hear the cadence of the words. Don’t miss out on this masterful new book, as it’s the perfect addition to classrooms and libraries.
–Children's Literature, 01/25/2024