Today I shall celebrate Josephines. Yes Josephines plural! For today is my little sister Josie’s 10th birthday and I decided to review a great biography of a great lady who shared the same first name – Josephine!
By Patricia Hruby Powell
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
104 pages – ages 7+
Published by Chronicle Books on January 14, 2014
Josephine Baker loved to dance. As a young girl in poverty in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine danced to keep warm (for she had no stockings). Ms. Baker grew up in a time of segregation and didn’t have the chances that she would have if she were white. Josephine decided she would show the world and make it as a dancer and performer. When given the chance, young Ms. Baker hooked up with some vaudeville performers as a dancer. Her energy and out right silliness stole the show from the other dancers. When denied access to join the troupe on their voyage to Europe, Josephine sneaked on board to get away from segregated America. Nothing would stop Josephine. In France, Josephine soon became a star, and became even more famous throughout her travels in Europe. She even became a spy for France during World War II. She lived her dream.
First I have to say, you pretty much feel like dancing after reading this book! This is an awesome biography about a person I’d never heard of before and I learned a lot. Ms. Baker sounds like she was a great person. Larger than life, like they say. I like how she adopted 12 children from around the world and raised them in their own cultures and religion. That was neat. I also think that Ms. Powell described the culture of segregation that Ms. Baker grew up in very well and showed how Josephine Baker overcame it and rose above it. The form of the book is nice too. I like the way some words are emphasized by capitalization and it is told in a cool prose. That was a nice touch. I find it cool that Ms. Baker had a leopard. Christian Robinson’s illustrations are amazing and magnificent and capture Ms. Baker’s spirit very well.
I’d recommend this book to people of all ages!
To learn more about Ms. Powell and her other books, please visit her website HERE.
To learn more about this Mr. Robinson and his other illustrations, please visit his website HERE.
Here is a cool fact, yesterday’s Martin Luther King Jr.Day’s Google Doodle was created by Mr. Robinson – click HERE!
For Josephine Baker activities and a printable poster and an excerpt from the book, visit Chronicle Books HERE!
Check out the trailer for the book!
I give “Josephine” five out of five bookworms!
With Multicultural Children’s Book Day coming up on January 27th, this is a great choice for reading!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR FAMILY’S JOSEPHINE!!!
Who has the same great spirit as the Josephine in this book!