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

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Under the Same Sun

Under the Same Sun

Spring 2014 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Sharon Robinson
Illustrator: A.G. Ford
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545166720
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Readers will be drawn in by the familial tenderness infusing this autobiographical story by the daughter of Jackie Robinson. Most widely known for "Jackie's Nine," "Testing the Ice" and other books about her baseball legend dad, veteran author/educator Sharon Robinson here tells the story of her mom Rachel's 85th birthday celebration in Tanzania, the family's ancestral home where Sharon's brother and his wife live. It has been many years since the two family groups have been together and Rachel's seven African-born grandchildren can't wait to see Bibi (the Swahili word for grandmother) and reveal their surprise gift: a safari visit to the Serengeti National Park. They make a sobering stop, too, at the ruins of a slave port, where the children's great-great grandparents were shipped across the ocean into slavery in the American South. That reality, simply and meaningfully observed and acknowledged in Robinson's text, deepens the poignancy of this family reunion and Bibi's comforting farewell words to her grandchildren, that despite the distance between their two countries, "we are always under the same sun." The lush acrylic and oil paintings by AG Ford (NAACP Image Award-winner and illustrator of Barack, the New York Times bestseller by Jonah Winter) evoke time and place and a family's loving warmth.

Lynne Heffley   ©2014 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

Share This