In this blog feature, I share a picture book I really enjoy and externalize my process of reading it. I’m hoping this will be useful for those of you who are?educators sharing books with kids and perhaps give you ideas of some?elements you could include?in your book discussions.
Under the Freedom Tree
by Susan VanHecke, illus by London Ladd
Part 1 here
I really like this book (whew!).? A few of my favorite things are the way she names Frank, James, Shepard several times. I think VanHecke does that to remind us over and over that these are PEOPLE, not belongings (that’s an important thing in the story). And it is poetry, and poetic, but it mostly doesn’t rhyme. I love lines like, ?Stars hold their breath / and so do the three?.? The opening scene is very mysterious and grabs my attention. The line ?Three slip out unseen? tells me these three men are sneaking away from something. One other thing she does is repeat a lot! ?Crowded, they spill / beyond the high walls, / beyond the stone gate?? and ?And still the come, / in patches and tatters. / They come and they come, / a human stream, / thousands upon thousands.? The way she repeats words and phrases is beautiful and sounds almost like a song. I want to read this book out loud, even though I’m by myself. And I learned a lot about slavery and The Freedom Tree. More tomorrow….