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Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree by William Miller (1996, Hardcover) NEW

$9.49

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 WELCOME TO PRO-SPIN BOOKSTitle: Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry TreeAuthor: William Miller                                            Publisher: Perfection Learning                                      Year: 1996                                       Cover: Hard cover Size: 10" X 9"Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3This book is a brand new, never read copy.At times effectively mottled, at other times hauntingly distinct, Van Wright and Hu's (Make a Joyful Sound) commanding watercolor paintings are the high point of this book, which recounts an episode in the childhood of the African American author of the acclaimed Their Eyes Were Watching God. Conveying the changing expressions on the face of the young Hurston as easily as they show the grandeur of the sky at nightfall, the versatile artists neatly capture the emotions in this lucidly told story. A stern father tells Zora that she should wear a dress (she wears overalls), read the Bible daily and obey him, but Zora listens only to her mother, who teaches her "that everything had a voice: the trees and rushing wind, the stars in the midnight sky." So the girl accompanies the boys when they gather around the campfires at night and listen to their fathers' tales of Africa. On her deathbed, Zora's mother instructs her young daughter to remember the stories, which "kept their people alive. As long as they were told, Africa would live in their hearts." First-time author Miller's affecting account ends where it began: with Zora climbing a chinaberry tree as her mother had shown her how to do; from the top of the tree, "Zora saw again the world her mother had given her," and she "promised her mother she would never stop climbing." Ages 4-up. Kindergarten-Grade 3-Hurston's difficult childhood is a challenging subject for a picture book, and Miller is not entirely successful in his treatment. The story is framed by scenes of the child in a chinaberry tree, imagining what lies beyond the horizon. The blurry edges of the watercolor images work well to suggest the worldview of a young girl prone to dreaming. The problem lies with what is left unsaid in the brief narrative. With only three sentences to characterize her father, children may be confused to learn that "Zora only listened to her mother." However, it is the treatment of her mother's death that is most problematic. As the child spies on the men and boys telling stories around the campfire, she hears about "...Death, the great square-toed one...who sat on a platform made of palm leaves and ruled with a sword in his hands." Two pages later, her mother dies. No explanation of the reference to death or of the family's funereal customs is given in the text or in the author's note. More importantly, the impact of the girl's beloved relative's death is not satisfactorily resolved by showing Zora climbing her chinaberry tree. More narrative is needed to help readers understand the unique setting and dynamics surrounding this character and to cushion the effect of this traumatic event. Stick with Patricia and Fredrick McKissack's Zora Neale Hurston (Enslow, 1992) and A.P. Porter's Jump at de Sun (Carolrhoda, 1992) for a more developed sense of the subject and her milieu.I ship to United States only.Shipping IS FREE!       SAME or NEXT DAY SHIPPING.  ATTENTION PLEASE READ:This is a PAYPAL ONLY auction. NO OTHER PAYMENT METHODS ARE ACCEPTED.Payment must be made within 2 days of auction end. 
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Brand New

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