Back in the 1990s, I drove from Northern VA to Southwest VA to attend a conference because author Lois Lowry was speaking. I loved ALL of Lois Lowry’s books, the Anastasia series and the The Giver. I couldn’t wait to be in the same room with Lois Lowry and hear her speak. I ever remember winning a copy of her book, The Giver because I was the conference attendee who had driven the furthest!
That same day, I met Ashley Bryan. This very tall man with kind eyes took to the stage and spoke. Actually, he mostly sang with a little speaking thrown in! From him, I learned the power of repetition. From him, I learned the power of a shared song. From him, I learned about his books, his poems, and his unique and colorful illustrative style. Attending that conference, I learned I had a new favorite author. It was so worth the five hour drive! Meeting Ashley Bryan was really my prize.
Kwame Alexander ended his Black History Month Bedtime story read-alouds on Instagram Live with a tribute to Ashley Bryan. He simply played Louis Armstrong’s song What a Wonderful World and shared the pages from the book Ashley created by the same name. A colorful image for each line of the song is on each page. Then he shared these inspiring words about WHY we celebrate Black History month.
What Ashley Bryan books do you own?
Today’s a great day to honor this amazing, creative American by buying another one of his books!
HERE is a curated list of 4 of the 5 Black History Month Read-alouds by Kwame Alexander shared on Instagram LIVE during the week of Feb. 7, 2022. All are worth a listen. All teach so well about why we celebrate Black History Month.