I recently came across a book about Gwendolyn Brooks while browsing the poetry section at the bookstore. It caught my eye not only because I am a fan of the poetry of Ms. Brooks but because I have not come across much children's literature about her.
In the first grade, I read my first Gwendolyn Brooks poem. It was titled "Jim" and I memorized it because I enjoyed it so much. As I grew, I encountered more of her work. As I teenager, I thought deeply about her poems "We Real Cool" and "A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon." I admired her sonnets and they influenced the way that I wrote mine.
The book A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks features the writing of Alice Faye Duncan paired with a few of Brooks' poems. It is a poetic biography, moving across the life of Gwendolyn Brooks from childhood to adulthood. The illustrations of artist Xia Gordon brings a radiance to the text. With moving hues and direct drawings, A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks is a visual and literary feast. In the back of the book are a brief timeline and more bibliography for further reading, On Alice Faye Duncan's website, she has lesson plans for each of her books. She is also raising money to create educational materials related to the book. If you wish to donate, you can do so here:
I would recommend this book for those who wish to learn more about Gwendolyn Brooks as well as to spark an interest in writers of Afrikan descent during her time period. This would be an excellent read for National Poetry Month which begins in April.
To visit Alice Faye Duncan's site https://alicefayeduncan.com/ and Xia Gordon's site https://xiagordon.com/, click on the following links.