I, TOO, SING AMERICA

My Book Recommendation

Book Cover

The text reproduces the lines of the poem verbatim while Crumpton’s vivid, saturated, digital illustrations present contemporary scenes of a young Black boy’s life. The boy, who oozes confidence, cheerfulness, and optimism, is shown introducing readers to his neighborhood and his loving nuclear family. As he grows older, he attends Joe Biden’s inauguration (Biden is not shown in the artwork), where he watches Amanda Gorman deliver the inaugural poem; attends an anti-racist protest with his parents and siblings; excels academically; and graduates from college. At the book’s closing, the boy has grown into a happy, fulfilled man living in a pleasant suburban neighborhood with a nuclear family of his own. Although Langston’s well-known lines are simple, they are well modulated, expressing various shades of meaning and emotion; unfortunately, this book, with its relentlessly upbeat visuals, feels incongruously one-note. While not particularly dynamic, the artwork offers an uplifting portrait of racial and societal progress and includes characters of various races.

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