africville coverAfricville by Shauntay Grant  Illustrations by Eva Campbell

Groundwood Books, 2018  Hardcover Picture book, 32pp. Ages 4-7

Africville carries with it such a clear resounding voice, the poetry if not formed in your mouth and spoken in sure rhythmic intonations in your ears, it will do so in your mind. The requests to “take me to…” takes us along in a tour that speaks to a life-giving nourishment of community, family that isn’t so sentimental as to be mistrusted as something nostalgic. There is a longing for something you know was from a before.

Myself, completely ignorant of the history let alone existence of Africville was taken by the sheer longing and delight of something that surely was. Which of course, upon further education (notes at the back of the book), deepen every sensation of loss.

africville interior
interior pages from Africville by Shauntay Grant (words) & Eva Campbell (images)

Africville has a long history, but the children and even the truck in the illustrations do not speak to some long, long ago bygone era; not even the unpaved roads. That Campbell composes with oil and pastel on canvas does suggest an nod toward preservation; of worth; and how it translates in color and texture a richness, a fineness. I almost had someone read this one to me so I take in the words while I took the vibrant images in.

africville interior2
interior pages from Africville by Shauntay Grant (words) & Eva Campbell (images)

I would not read Africville apart from its history, the opportunity to share its story; but it does read like the fondest of memories and something still very much present. I would allow the reader to rest in the reading before launching into the lament of its Africville’s violent end.

Grant’s words and Campbell’s paintings are gorgeously suited to one another, and a pleasure to hear and see. It is a must-read.

line clipartRecommended for all the libraries; adding a nice variation in style of illustration, in historical narrative, and focus (not one white person present); must read aloud and take your time one of the times through. For readers of Jacqueline Woodson’s This is the Rope and Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange.

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: