Hey Black Child

Hey Black Child

Six-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Bryan Collier brings this classic, inspirational poem to life, written by poet Useni Eugene Perkins. Hey black child,Do you know who you are?Who really are? Do you know you can beWhat you want to beIf you try to beWhat you can be? This lyrical, empowering poem celebrates black children and se...

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Title:Hey Black Child
Author:Useni Eugene Perkins
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Hey Black Child Reviews

  • Margie

    There are books which fill readers with a surge of joy, welling up inside us and growing stronger with each page turn. There are books you want to read aloud and alone standing in a grassy meadow at the top of a hill you navigate with difficulty. There are books you wish to share in a sanctuary filled with people, reading each phrase slowly with purpose so those gathered together can feel the power of those words.

    There are books brimming with glorious illustrations, lifting the narrative to new

    There are books which fill readers with a surge of joy, welling up inside us and growing stronger with each page turn. There are books you want to read aloud and alone standing in a grassy meadow at the top of a hill you navigate with difficulty. There are books you wish to share in a sanctuary filled with people, reading each phrase slowly with purpose so those gathered together can feel the power of those words.

    There are books brimming with glorious illustrations, lifting the narrative to new heights. There are books with colors, patterns, light and shadow carefully pieced and placed together, singing off the page like a melody straight from the creator's soul to our hearts. There are books with words and images complementing each other in such excellence they are engraved in our memories. Hey Black Child (Little, Brown And Company, November 14, 2017) written by Useni Eugene Perkins with illustrations by Bryan Collier is all of those books.

    My full recommendation:

  • Stacey Giglio

    "Hey Black Child" by Useni Eugene Perkins addresses the changes in the world that need to be made. In this poem the black child is told they can be what they want to be but first they need to learn what they need to learn, do what they need to do and then they will be able to make this a nation they want it to be. The illustrator, Bryan Collier, does an amazing job of using words in the illustrations to convey the feeling of the poem. The message of this poem is loud and clear. The author believ

    "Hey Black Child" by Useni Eugene Perkins addresses the changes in the world that need to be made. In this poem the black child is told they can be what they want to be but first they need to learn what they need to learn, do what they need to do and then they will be able to make this a nation they want it to be. The illustrator, Bryan Collier, does an amazing job of using words in the illustrations to convey the feeling of the poem. The message of this poem is loud and clear. The author believes in the "black child" and in the possibility of change but not without hard work.

    I would use this poem as a link to social studies for fourth graders and then have students identify figures in history who have made positive changes in our nation. I would love to connect this poem with a biography about a historical figure who made changes in our nation. This poem could also be used to develop students writing. Students could create their own poems that could rhyme or be in poetic prose responding to Perkins about how they are going to learn what they need to learn and do what they need to do to make changes in the world.

  • Marissa Elera

    A call to action, a parade of encouragement, inspiration for all the black children in the world. Wonderful.

  • Bookishrealm

    I've been trying to read more picture books with lead characters of color and I decided to pick this one up. It was great. I mean it was absolutely fabulous. I didn't realize that this poem was actually written by Useni Perkins because as she states at the end of the book it has been attributed to a lot of other famous black poets including Maya Angelou. The artwork was beautiful and it definitely encourages black children to stay confident about everything that they want to accomplish. It's suc

    I've been trying to read more picture books with lead characters of color and I decided to pick this one up. It was great. I mean it was absolutely fabulous. I didn't realize that this poem was actually written by Useni Perkins because as she states at the end of the book it has been attributed to a lot of other famous black poets including Maya Angelou. The artwork was beautiful and it definitely encourages black children to stay confident about everything that they want to accomplish. It's such a positive book that a lot of children should read.

  • Baby Bookworm

    Hello, friends! Our book today is the joyful

    , written by Useni Eugene Perkins and illustrated by Bryan Collier, a poem to encourage, enlighten, and inspire little readers of color.

    Using the spare yet impactful text of Perkins’s beloved 1975 poem, words and visuals weave together to form a message of motivation for little black boys and girls. The poem asks three simple questions

    Hello, friends! Our book today is the joyful

    , written by Useni Eugene Perkins and illustrated by Bryan Collier, a poem to encourage, enlighten, and inspire little readers of color.

    Using the spare yet impactful text of Perkins’s beloved 1975 poem, words and visuals weave together to form a message of motivation for little black boys and girls. The poem asks three simple questions of its listener: Do you know who you are? Do you know where you’re going? Do you know you are strong? The answer to all three is the same – it all depends on you, and the only limits are the ones you set for yourself. The world is waiting, so go forth and do great things, and you will build a better world for doing so.

    Love. This. Going in, I had no knowledge of Perkins’s poem, which is often attributed to other sources. It’s a compact powerhouse, using an economy of words to spread a message of self-confidence, faith in oneself, and hope for a better tomorrow. It translates beautifully to book form, with a flawless rhythm that makes it a joy to read aloud and straightforward text that is sure to engage little bookworms. Collier’s work is gorgeous as always, and there are some especially breathtaking spreads here: a stargazing young girl with the expansive cosmic universe spread out behind her, balloons rising from a piano as a little girl grows into a ballerina, the real-life faces of dozens of black children forming radiant beams of sunlight. The length is great, and JJ loved it. A perfect staple for any child of color’s library at any age, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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  • Erin

    Beautifully done. An encouraging poem for any audience, especially the final message. The illustrations match the positive, uplifting text.

  • Shari

    Absolutely beautiful illustrated version of Useni Eugene Perkins powerful poem. I'm glad I read it during African American History Month.

  • Antoinette Scully

    I love books that put a smile on my face as I read them. “Hey Black Child” is a anthem to show you can do anything you try. And the more Black children achieve their dreams, the better we all will be.

  • Desiree

    This book is written from a poem by Useni Eugene Perkins. Floyd Cooper does a wonderful job of creating awesome mixed media images to compliment the text on the page. The beauty of black children are shown through vibrantly hued illustrations and large text. Good book for one on one reading, or a unit on self actualization.

  • KC

    A wonderfully written poem empowering young black people to dream big.

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