- Kelsey Marie Paff
The Story of Rosa Parks by Patricia A. Pingry with Illustrations by Steven Walker
Thank you to WorthyKids for sending me a copy of The Story of Rosa Parks by Patricia Pingry and illustrated by Steven Walker. There seems to be a rise in biographical board books as of late, which is nice to see as these books introduce children to figures throughout history in the most basic, age-appropriate way. However, I would stray from Amazon's recommendation that this is a book meant for 0-3 year olds. Many board books are recommended as 0-3 books, which isn't incorrect in some ways, but I think the 0-3 age range is much too broad given the developmental changes that little ones go through during the first three years of life. If I were to put an age recommendation on The Story of Rosa Parks I'd say it would be best for children who are between the age of two and a half and four. The reason being that they will be able to better comprehend the story as opposed to simply interacting with the illustrations or listening to the vocabulary, which is also important but the purpose of The Story of Rosa Parks is really to give an introduction to Rosa Parks that children in the 2 and a half to four age range can start to understand.
Eloquently written, the book starts with an introduction that I found very inviting as it begins with a question: "Do you know Rosa Parks? She is called the mother of the civil rights movement." The book continues to tell the reader about where Rosa was born and when, about her mother and father and where she went to school. When she got older she got married and became a seamstress. To get to and from work Rosa rode the bus. It is at this point in the story that children will learn that when buses were full, African Americans used to be expected to give up their seats for white passengers. But on December 1st, 1955 Rosa got on the bus, sat down, and even when the bus became full and she was expected to give up her seat, she stayed put. On that day, Rosa changed the course of history.
Illustrated by Steven Walker (I highly recommend following his work) the illustrations throughout the book portray a great deal of emotion. In one illustration, which I unfortunately didn't take a picture of, Rosa is shown waiting for the bus in the dark by herself. She seems very alone. I think that depiction highlights Rosa's bravery---a bravery that she needed in order to stand up for herself as well as for other African Americans in her same situation.
On the final page of the book it shows children sitting together. Smiling. Celebrating a bright future! May we always look for ways to continue to make the future brighter for generations to come.
A beautiful publication and one that should also be enjoyed alongside WorthyKids publication of The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore.