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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (New…
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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (New York Times Best Illustrated… (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Virginia Hamilton, Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon Ph.D. (Illustrator)

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1632673,133 (4.27)None
Member:electrascaife
Title:The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (New York Times Best Illustrated Books (Awards))
Authors:Virginia Hamilton
Other authors:Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon Ph.D. (Illustrator)
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2004), Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, children's book, Charlie, public library book, 1001 Children's Books list

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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book by Virginia Hamilton (2004)

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This is a moving and deep story about slavery and emancipation. It is from the oral tradition of American black folktales and is eloquently put into words by Virginia Hamilton. It is difficult to write a review that expresses the emotions this story invokes. The woman Sarah, who is so cruelly treated as a slave in this story and is the first to fly away with her little baby, reminds me of the great-grandmother Sarah who first came to Sarah's mountain with her baby in Virginia Hamilton's novel M.C. Higgins the Great. The illustrations are by the Caldecott Medal winning husband and wife Leo and Diane Dillon. Their illustrations as always are beyond words captivating. Amazon recommends this book for age 7 and up and it is about 32 pages long.
  jmjobes | Jul 23, 2016 |
I am so fortunate that I have never suffered enough to be able to empathize with how this story would be felt by those who have. Spectacular endpapers - I want a roll! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This is an awesome folktale based on African-American legend. It's about a tribe in Africa that could fly that got sold into slavery and lost their wings, but the old sorcerer gave them their wings back. The illustrations are lovely and the implications of the story would be really interesting to unfold with older students. This would also be a good text for celebrating African American history and culture. ( )
  AmandaLK | Nov 27, 2015 |
I thought this book was a beautiful, fantastical retelling of the story of slavery. It was melancholic, raw in emotion, yet beautiful all the same. I didn't feel like I was reading a children's picture book.
  kali.joy | Aug 27, 2015 |
This book's artful and beautiful illustrations highlight the tellng of a mythic story that retells the enslavement and emancipation of African-Americans. The story is moving and the illustrations model classical religious paintings with African-Americans as the focus and subject. Truly wonderful.

I found this book moving and beautiful to look at. The artistry of the images was of a very fine quality, which when combined with the text and deeper meaning, crafted a truly important cultural work of literature for young readers. The nature of the themes and history are of a mature nature, requiring a higher and more sophisticated level of reading, putting this in the higher end of the youth age spectrum. ( )
  abrial2433 | Mar 17, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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THE PEOPLE COULD FLY: THE PICTURE BOOK (2004) should not be combined with THE PEOPLE COULD FLY: AMERICAN BLACK FOLKTALES (1985).
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Book description
This is a vibrant, both in prize-winning illustration and writing, re-tell of a Black folktale about slaves who had the magic ability to "fly" to freedom. While those who didn't have the ability used the power of imagination in passing along the story to set themselves free. This book could be a powerful dialogue opener regarding slavery and freedom - hope and change in general - and the larger issue of equality/inequality we still face today; likely a topic for grade school level, maybe even tied to an equality lesson of some sort or Black history month etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375824057, Hardcover)

“THE PEOPLE COULD FLY,” the title story in Virginia Hamilton’s prize-winning American Black folktale collection, is a fantasy tale of the slaves who possessed the ancient magic words that enabled them to literally fly away to freedom. And it is a moving tale of those who did not have the opportunity to “fly” away, who remained slaves with only their imaginations to set them free as they told and retold this tale.

Leo and Diane Dillon have created powerful new illustrations in full color for every page of this picture book presentation of Virginia Hamilton’s most beloved tale. The author’s original historical note as well as her previously unpublished notes are included.

Awards for The People Could Fly collection:

A Coretta Scott King Award

A Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice

A School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

A Horn Book Fanfare

An ALA Notable Book

An NCTE Teachers’ Choice

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.

(summary from another edition)

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