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African American Children's Treasury of Classic Songs and Games in a Keepsake Publication

Updated on May 10, 2017
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Songbook, Storybook, and Poetry Collection for African American Children

Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin, and Turn It Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an Arican American Childhood will delight African American children and their families in this collection of traditional of stories and songs for playtime. Characters from African American folklore and historical figures from generations are all in this treasury for families to read aloud and enjoy. The collection was gathered by Newberry Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and Caledcott winner illustrator Brian Pinkney.

Children and families can gather to sing favorites from the chapter containing spirituals, hymns, and gospel music such as Amazing Grace, This Little Light of Mine, and Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. The chapter containing jump rope rhymes and chants will add to playtime fun. Family reading time with classic stories and folktales from African American literature will be treasured for many years.

Each chapter is prefaced with the history of activities, songs, and stories in the collection. Did you know that jumping rope originated with the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans? The chapter containing spirituals, hymns, and gospel music presents the fact that these originated with slaves and are now part of all denominations in churches worldwide. School choirs also enjoy performing these treasured music pieces. The chapter containing folktales and storytelling offers selections that originated in Africa and spread throughout the world. Author Patricia C. McKissack also includes interesting notes at the end of the book about selected pieces from chosen chapters.

Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Games, Songs,& Stories from an African American Childhood was published by Schwartz & Wade Books, a trademark of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for all ages and has an ISBN of 978-0-375-87088-0.

Treasury of Fun for African American Families

Hand claps with beloved games are included in a chapter
Hand claps with beloved games are included in a chapter
Singing fun with chosen selections
Singing fun with chosen selections

Meet the Author and Illustrator

Patricia C. McKissack is the recipient of both a Newberry Award and a Coretta Scott King Award for her work in children's literature. She also enjoys writing picture books, and has received awards for her picture books. She writes in her introduction to this collection of African American songs, games, and stories that these selections were all part of her childhood playtime and her time as a student, teacher, instructor for teachers, parent, and grandparent. She says that her selections for this collection are all favorites, and she is excited to publish in a collection for others to share in African American heritage.

Brian Pinkney is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for his talents as an illustrator. He is also a recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award. He contributed his talents as an illustrator for this collection with both color and black and white illustrations. You may visit his website at

PInkney's Talents Alternate Color with Black and White Illustrations

Color illustration of beloved song
Color illustration of beloved song
Black and white illustration alternates with color for beloved song
Black and white illustration alternates with color for beloved song

Literature for African American Children Contributes to Multicultural Education

Patricia C. McKissack has a background as a teacher and instructor for other teachers. Her collection in Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood is a valuable tool for classroom teachers who incorporate multicultural literature for the children in their classes. I am a big fan of multicultural children's literature and used multicultural books to teach young children in my own classes through the years. Teachers will want to include this collection if they enjoy using multicultural literature in their classrooms.

McKissack includes a chapter of stories from beloved African American writers like Langston Hughes and others who might not be as familiar. The chapter of folktales and storytelling also includes wonderful read alouds from African American folklore. McKissack also includes a piece that she wrote for her collection. She writes about Laughing Lizzy with a great surprise ending that will delight the reader. She writes that the scary story is a favorite genre from the African American oral tradition and her story of Laughing Lizzy is of this genre.

Multicultural Literature Gives Depth to Children's Reading Experiences

A treasury of multicultural literature for children
A treasury of multicultural literature for children

African American Families Celebrate Their Heritage

How do you expose your children to multicultural children's books?

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