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Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song

de Ashley Bryan

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An introduction to the life and career of the writer and artist Ashley Bryan, a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.
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Bryan starts the story with his childhood. He enjoyed the little things in life like when his mom would sing and anytime he got to paint/draw. Bryan had a supportive family who encouraged his artistic abilities. After graduating high school, Ashley Bryan went out to find an art college that would accept him. He was denied from these colleges because he was African American. This did not stop Bryan and he found a college that accepted people on their talents than rather the color of their skin. I liked how the pages would have his actual art and it would have a page of him talking in the present, and a page of the past. ( )
  Nattamari | Oct 29, 2018 |
MSBA Nominee 2010-2011 ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Ashley Bryan's book is a fabulous story of his life growing up in New York with his many siblings and his Antiguan parents. His story describes the hopes and dreams of his parents who came to America for very specific reasons; to fulfill their dreams. Although his parents did not harp on the many prejudices they experienced being Black in America, Bryan soon came to realize these ugly truths and dedicated much of his artistic efforts to great African American and African poets, artists, stories, and storytellers. Bryan discusses how his early life was very much influenced by the beauty and brilliance of many other cultures though, in his work, he mainly focuses on uplifting and bringing to life the African and African American aesthetic. Throughout this text the photos provoke strong emotional feelings of strength, determination, persistence, family values, and an appreciation for culture and art. The images are bold and beautiful. Within the book, some pages are only pictures or artwork that, to me, seem to tell the story Bryan is conveying better than he can in words. although I would not use this book as a read aloud because it is lengthy, it is great to look at and to get ideas for great read alouds with vivid art and illustrations. I loved it! ( )
  abbrown1 | Aug 31, 2011 |
(picture biography, multicultural)This is an inviting book from page one. Even the jacket cover issues a formal invitation to the world of Ashley Bryan with the promise of a grilled cheese sandwich! Now, who can resist that? Cramped in a tiny apartment with not much to spare, Ashley's mother was always able to find and create beauty wherever she was. Perhaps that is why Ashley was able to do the same, particularly considering he lived and developed during the Depression era. After recently completed a novel on Claudette Colvin, it was surprising to me to learn that segregation and racism even reached the ranks of the military and enrollment in art schools! Ashley Bryan experienced these very racisms. Through these challenges, Ashley Bryan never gave up his dream to spend the day, the full day, in pursuit of his art. He wanted to be considered a professional and have his art published in books. This book follows the steps he took to make that happen. I thought it was genius how on each page, one side of the text is Ashley narrating his past and on the other side is the present as he and (I assume) a "reporter"(or whomever he is telling his story to? Perhaps the reader?) are walking along talking about his past. The Present side of text virtually takes you through a typical Ashley Bryan day, strolling along the Maine coast, picking up sea glass. Towards the end of the book there is a two page spread with all the books that Bryan illustrated pictured. An activity could be with older children to have them pick and read one of those books. Another idea would be to provide materials necessary for them to recreate artwork reminiscient of Bryan's African american inspired art with just the blacks, browns, reds, and oranges. ( )
  derbygirl | Jul 19, 2011 |
This autobiography of Ashley Bryan is more a piece of art and secondarily an autobiography. It is told in vignette-like fashion with each page illustrated/decorated in beautiful collages, illustrations, paintings, etc. The colors are a celebration on each page. The illustrations say almost as much as the words overall, and more in some cases. Although I read the book from cover to cover, and it did follow his life chronologically, it would also be possible to read each page in just about any order that caught one's fancy, as I'm sure students might do. ( )
  tlwood | Mar 15, 2011 |
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An introduction to the life and career of the writer and artist Ashley Bryan, a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.

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