Cover image for Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine Baker
Title:
Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine Baker
Author:
Powell, Patricia Hruby, 1951-
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Summary:
A portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.6 1.0 160655.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 4 Quiz: 61378.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781452103143
Format :
Book

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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Black History
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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GV1785.B3 P68 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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On Order

Summary

Summary

An emotionally powerful biography told in verse of a dancer, singer, comedienne, and enduring figure - Josephine Baker - from her birth in the slums, her fantastic success, and her fight against racial prejudice.


Author Notes

Patricia Hruby Powell danced throughout the Americas and Europe with her dance company, One Plus One, before becoming a writer of children's books. She has marveled at the spirit, courage, and beauty of Josephine Baker for a long time, and while visiting schools as a storyteller/ author and working as a librarian, she realised what a great role model Josephine could be to young people. Christian Robinson remembers the first time he saw Paul Colin's illustration of Josephine dancing in a banana skirt. He was inspired then, at the age of 13. Years later he is still inspired by Josephine and never imagined being given the opportunity to share her story through illustrations of his own.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Josephine is a free-verse biographical poem that pulls its inspiration from the life of a fascinating performer and civil rights pioneer. Josephine Baker grew up in the shantytowns of St. Louis, often considered the home of ragtime music. At only 13, she left home to travel with a dance troupe, honing her silly on-stage persona and earning pennies. Through a series of unlikely but fortunate events, her talent was discovered and soon she was dancing the Charleston on a stage in Paris. While most of the milestones of her notorious career and turbulent life are included, Powell focuses on events that carried the most personal weight for Baker, such as almost losing her leg in a childhood accident, her refusal to dance in segregated American dance halls, and her first time on a transatlantic boat trip. Quotes from Baker punctuate the engaging narrative poem and Robinson's gorgeous, colorful acrylics (with cute Lego-faced characters) honor the colorful exuberance of both the Jazz era and Baker's life. Well researched and spirited, this features innumerable points of discussion for young readers.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Segregated American clubs were willing to let African-American dancer Josephine Baker (1906-1975) perform, but they wouldn't let her use the front door. Powell (Frog Brings Rain) chooses a potent metaphor for Baker's hidden anger: "hot magma, molten lava, trapped within." When Baker arrived in France, the country embraced both her artistry and her blackness, and "Her deep volcanic core-filled with emotion, filled with music-erupted." Robinson (Rain!) draws round faces gazing with amazement at the woman onstage whose pearl necklace flies one way and whose hips swing the other. Baker's entire life spreads out in this tapestry of words, from a St. Louis childhood surrounded by music to her triumphs all over Europe-followed, sadly, by debt and illness. Robinson's naif, folk-style figures look like puppets, and make some grim moments easier to endure ("Those ugly rumors incited some white folks/ to beat, murder, and burn black East St. Louis"). Although Powell's focus is on Baker, the contrast between segregated America and welcoming France will not be lost on readers. Ages 7-10. Author's agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This charming biography invites readers to step inside the vibrant and spirited world of performer and civil rights advocate, Josephine Baker. Robinson's paintings are as colorful and rich as Josephine Baker's story, offering page after page of captivating and animated illustrations and rhythmic text, which is written in blank verse. In a few short and well-organized parts, readers learn the story of one of the world's most well known female performers who danced and sang her way from the poor and segregated streets of St. Louis to the dazzling stages of Paris all the way to Carnegie Hall. Text and illustrations work in tandem to accurately document Josephine's extraordinary life and the era in which she lived. Clear and lively descriptions of Josephine's story play out creatively in the text, introducing readers to basic principles of poetic structure in storytelling and offering an accurate portrait of a woman who fought for racial equality and civil rights through her life's passion: performance. Reluctant readers of nonfiction and poetry lovers alike will be drawn to this book's musical, theatrical nature, making for a fun, enriching, and holistic reading experience. This unique and creative work is a first purchase.-Natalie Braham, Denver Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.