Genre- Picture Books

Title: A Sweet Smell of Rosessmell-of-roses

Author: Angela Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books

Age Level: Elementary (3-4)

Date: 2005

Summary: Two youg African American girls sneak out of their house to march for the Civil Rights movement with Dr. King.

Strengths: I love the repetition of “the sweet smell of rose.” When the girls leave the house, march in the streets, and return home they smell the roses. The illustrations are fabulous. They are in black and white, but are detailed in a way that makes you feel for the characters in the book. The only color in the book is the red on the flag, the red roses,  and the bow on the bear. The text contrasts with the color it is written on. If the background is white, the text is black and vice versa. This adds a lot to the text as your reading. Also, the books ends like it begins which is neat. At the beginning the girls run out of the house, past the milkman, over the bridge, through the market to Charolette Street and at they repeat the same pattern till their safely at home. 

Concerns: I have no major concerns about this book.

Classroom Use: This book would be great for a lesson on the Civil Rights Movement and the march. I enjoy how the book comes from the childs point of view. The author leaves a great note in the front of the book talking about all the important adults during this time. She talks about how this book is a dedication to all the children that risked their lives to be a part of the movement. I think the illustrator using red as the only color in the whole book could be a great discussion. The class could talk about symbolism and why they think the illustrator did that.

Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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