A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Explores importance and history of Juneteenth through the eyes of a child. A parade for the national holiday is experienced through scents, sights, sounds, and emotions. The Juneteenth flag is prominently displayed on several pages. Illustrations include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. Lyrics from the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," are embedded throughout the text.
Take pride in the past, present, and future. It's important to celebrate Juneteenth and understand it's historical significance. Be kind to those around you, especially when you're sharing a joyful moment. Have hope for a better tomorrow.
Positive Role Models
Characters in the book display gratitude for the Juneteenth holiday, respect for history, and an appreciation for civics. Kindness and love are shown between family members, friends, and strangers.
Black Americans of different ages, skin tones, and body shapes are shown in illustrations throughout the book.
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Violence & Scariness
The text mentions that "ancestors had experienced: abuse and pain -- heartache." Illustrations show an enslaved person breaking free of chains on their wrists, and soldiers holding rifles.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Van G. Garrett's Juneteenth is a picture book that highlights the joy of celebrating the U.S. holiday that marks when enslaved Africans learned of their emancipation in 1865. The story is told from the perspective of a young Black child at a Juneteenth parade. The book is poetic and features lyrics from "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the unofficial Black national anthem. Themes of the story include gratitude, joy, and a respect for history. The vibrancy of the holiday and all it commemorates leap off the page in illustrations by Reginald C. Adams and Samson Bimbo Adenugba.
Is It Any Good?
This energetic, poetic book reminds Americans, particularly Black Americans, to take pride in the United States' newest national holiday. Juneteenth shows how a common history can bring strangers together from across the nation, all experiencing the same feelings of happiness and pride. The illustrations are lively, bright, and emotional. And the author's use of lyrics from a song that's rich with history adds a sense of familiarity to the story. Readers will be excited to commemorate history on Juneteenth with this great book.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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