Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Topic: Celebration of African American Language and Culture

10-second review: The meaning of Dean Myers’ The Blues of Flats Brown, a picture book for children from pre-school to grade 3.

Title: “ ‘The Blues Playingest Dog You ever Heard of’: (Re)positioning Literacy Through African American Blues Rhetoric.” C Kynard. Reading Research Quarterly (October/November/December 2008), 356-373. A publication of the International Reading Association (IRA).

Quote: “Like the narrator tells you, some people have not believed in new possibilities. So when you face them, just you be like Flats: Don’t you never mind all that. In the end, folks like Flats’s narrator will always remember and go out to spread the word, the rhythm and the rhyme.”

Comment: I can’t begin to summarize all of the information contained in this research article on a picture book about a dog who escapes from the mean owner of a junk yard, writes a blues song and succeeds in New York. For ages 3 through 8. Check out for reviews of the book and its accompanying CD. The author of the article shows how the book celebrates black language and culture. Fascinating. RayS.

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