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Queen of the Scene
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
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What's the story?
A young, athletic African-American girl struts her stuff on the playground. She can swing a hula-hoop, twirl a basketball, and win at hop-scotch, foot races, stick ball, basketball, and any sport you can name. She has it all because she has heart, even when the going gets tough.
Is it any good?
Frank Morrison’s stunning, exuberant illustrations reflect his break-dancing past, and they shout rapper/actor Queen Latifah’s positive message across each page. Besides being good at everything, the big-striding, arm-swinging "queen of the scene" stands up for the other kids, especially girls, and challenges them to "take pride" and find the queen in themselves. The long-legged, flowing girl-queen is drawn in a style similar to the characters Morrison created in Jazzy Miz Mozetta, for which he won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent.
The rhythm and rhyme unfortunately don't flow as well as the illustrations and seem a bit jagged at times. But included with the book is a CD on which Queen Latifah reads the story in the intended rap-style, with an accompanying background beat. Her own queenly style and strength underscore the message that we all can "be the best" if we believe in ourselves.