Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Dear Mr. Rosenwald

Dear Mr. Rosenwald

Fall 2006 Picture Books
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Author: Carole B Weatherford
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
ISBN: 0-439-49522-9
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Although creaking floors seem to suggest otherwise, Ovella's teacher Miss Mays tells her students, “you can't judge a school / by the building,” and “knowledge is a solid foundation.” But in their hearts, everyone knows that the meager facility that functions as both church and one-room schoolhouse is desperately in need of repair. And then, suddenly, there is hope: Provided residents can do some of the work themselves, Sears, Roebuck and Company will give money to Ovella's town to build a proper school. This lovely story, written in free-verse poetry by Carole Boston Weatherford, chronicles the building of this new school and serves as a testament to the hard-working African-American community Ovella lives in. It's also a story based on fact; the author's note explains how in the 1920s and '30s, Sears' president Julius Rosenwald gave millions of dollars to build more than 5,000 schools in African American areas of the rural South. R. Gregory Christie's gouache and pencil artwork reflects a folk aesthetic that works well with the content of the text. This uplifting story is especially well suited to classrooms and school libraries.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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