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Keep Climbing, Girls by Beah E. Richards

Keep Climbing, Girls

by Beah E. Richards

Other authors: R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator), LisaGay Hamilton (Introduction)

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The heroine of Beah E. Richards' poem climbs a tree in this picture-book, ignoring the commands, advice and threats of the more traditional Miss Nettie, who doesn't think such activities are appropriate for little girls. The narrator offers encouragement, relating how Miss Nettie hasn't reckoned on the ambition and wisdom of little girls, concluding with the advice to keep on climbing...

Originally published in 1951, in Richards' sole poetry collection, A Black Woman Speaks, this rebellious and aspirational piece is presented in picture-book form by illustrator R. Gregory Christie, and introduced by actress LisaGay Hamilton. Richards, who was a celebrated actress, as well as an author and activist, was an inspiration and mentor to Hamilton, who worked on a television documentary about her hero's life. Although I appreciate the sentiments expressed in Keep Climbing, Girls, I have to say that the poem itself didn't particularly impress me, and I frequently found its rhythm somewhat awkward, when attempting to read it aloud (something I always do with picture-book poems). Of course, personal reaction to poetry is intensely idiosyncratic, so I imagine others will have a different experience. The artwork, created in gouache, is engaging, utilizing bold shapes and intense colors. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 24, 2017 |
4 1/2 - ok book harder to read than it should be... Difficulty with the flow and rhyme? ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
Summary: "Keep Climbing, Girls" is a poem about a girl who climbs to the top part of the tallest tree while a lady named Miss Nettle yells for her to come down. However, the girl is making an effort to "make a bid for a girl's equality" since boys have a upper hand.

Review: The central message of this book is for girls to keep climbing to their goals and desires and not let anyone prevent you. "Keep Climbing, Girl" is a great book that shows the innocence, yet wisdom of a young girl. The book showcases the young girl's wisdom by saying "But Miss Nettie hadn't reckoned with the wisdom of little girls. For even they know little boys have the upper hand in this world." However, the book shows the child's innocence as well because she believes the only way she can earn a girl's equality is to climb the tallest tree. I believe young children can relate to this way of thinking because it shows a child's view of inequality. ( )
  rjones34 | Oct 29, 2014 |
A girl is told to come down from the tree and be ladylike. If you're dealing with someone who's having to confront sexism, this could be a good story. But if you're looking just for simple positive reinforcement about girls doing active play, be careful, because sexism is portrayed, and the girl has to basically ignore sexist advice. So, uplifting, yes, but be ready to introduce your kid to the concept of sexism. ( )
  lquilter | Dec 31, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beah E. Richardsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Christie, R. GregoryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, LisaGayIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Presents the poem "Keep Climbing, Girls" by noted African-American actor, poet, and playwright Beah E. Richards, that encourages all human beings, young and old, male and female, to reach far beyond the expectations that society might have for them.

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