Keep climbing, girls /
by Beah E. Richards ; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie ; introduction by LisaGay Hamilton.
1st Simon & Schuster ed.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
1416902643, 9781416902645
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New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.
In a world where "little boys have the upper hand", and in spite of stronger and stronger admonitions from an adult, a little girl keeps climbing "right up to the toppermost bough of the very tallest tree".
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Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2006-01-23:
With good humor and love, this poem by the late African-American actress Richards suggests a strategy for girls who believe that boys "have the upper hand." The author asserts that "the only way to make a bid/ for a girl's equality/ is to climb right up to the toppermost bough/ of the very tallest tree." Christie's (Only Passing Through) boldly brushed gouache spreads show the nimble girl in pigtails and a yellow dress, seated high up in a nest of branches, while a concerned Miss Nettie yells from below. First, the woman warns the young heroine of physical harm, then threatens the loss of beauty. "You're... going to have a tomboy's scars." Christie zooms in on the girl at her perch, depicting her reactions to Miss Nettie's cries. Triumphant, calculating, sure of herself, she's a portrait of self-confidence. Miss Nettie's threats bring more scandalized-looking women to her porch, but the girl keeps climbing ("a little girl victorious/ can't hide her childish glee,/ to see Miss Nettie so put out/ that she, a girl, could climb a tree"). Scolded by Miss Nettie that night, the girl bows her head, but the next morning, her thoughtful sideways look at another tree proves she's not cowed: "The moral is: Keep climbing, girls,/ and let no one prevent you!" Sometimes girls have to buck strangers in the battle to succeed; just as often, this tale hints, they have to rebel against those who love them most. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, January 2006
Booklist, February 2006
School Library Journal, February 2006
Horn Book Guide, October 2006
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