Author: Isabell Monk
Illustrator: Janice Lee Porter
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, Inc, October 2004
Suitable for: 4 and up
Themes/Topics: Acceptance, Tolerance, Bi-racial identity, Bi-racial culture and heritage
Every summer I spend at least one weekend in the country with my mama’s aunt Poogee. The instant I step out of our car, Aunt Poogee scoops me up in her arms and says, “Mmmm, I could just eat you up.” I think aunt Poogee holds all the love in the world inside her and lets it out bit by bit through the twinkle in her eyes.
During a visit to her great-aunt’s in the country, Hope learns the story behind her name and learns to feel proud of her biracial heritage.
Lesson plan for Cultural Identity. Suggested activities:
Create a family tree
Research family member
Interview the eldest member of your family
Research the meaning and origin of your name and other family members names
Why I like this book:
Identity is a big issue for children of bi-racial heritage and Isabell Monk does a wonderful job showing through Hope’s story that every child is special and should be proud of their mixed heritage. I was a child of mixed heritage, African American and Ethiopian and both are rich and beautiful. Growing up my mom made sure I loved and respected both. I believe every child of mixed cultures can relate to Hope and probably have gone through some of the problems that society creates for people of mixed cultures and heritage. This is the perfect book for children to learn they are wonderful, they are beautiful and they have every right to be proud of who they are! And in a way, children of non-mixed races learn a great deal of understanding, tolerance and an appreciation of children of mixed races.
Find a comprehensive list of picture books with resources at Susanna L Hill's blog.