Reviews for In the Hollow of Your Hand : Slave Lullabies


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 November 2000
Gr. 5-7, younger and older for reading aloud. Part of the oral tradition, this moving collection of 13 folk lullabies is a powerful way to communicate what family life was like under slavery. McGill collected the songs firsthand, and after each lullaby she talks about the people who sang to her as a child, where they heard the songs, and how they were passed on through the generations. The love and hope are here as are the anguish of separation and the nonsense ("Joe went to de pig pen. Slipped an' he fell in" ). Opposite each song is a handsome full-page quilt collage contributed by Michael Cummings, which poignantly illustrates what McGill says about slave mothers saving "Every Little Bit." There's full musical notation at the back, and a CD of the songs, sung by McGill, is included. The people's words are achingly beautiful, and the combination with history and personal experience makes this an enduring collection. --Hazel RochmanCopyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Spring
This collection of lively tunes will be new to many readers. Each spread contains an illustration, the text for a song, and an anecdote about its place in McGill's childhood and in the history of slavery. Melodies appear in small print at the back of the book. The mixed-media illustrations use painted paper, fabric, and quilt techniques for a folk-art look in keeping with the subject. The accompanying CD is superb. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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