Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)

Patricia Hruby Powell

Language: English

Pages: 104

ISBN: 1452103143

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, Honor
Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, Nonfiction Honor
Parent's Choice Award
Wall Street Journal's 10 Best Children's Books of the Year List
Bologna Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor 2014

In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

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first thing, she divorced Willie Baker— ended that long-ago marriage. Then, ON TO THE SHOW. She starred in the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES— the all-white Follies— in New York City. Josephine bubbled with joy. She became the FIRST and ONLY Negro Follies star. EVER. Yet she had to enter her hotel through the servants’ entrance. All the white stars ignored her. Worst of all, critics called her a “Negro wench . . . buck-toothed,” “a dime a dozen.” She EXPLODED with a SCALDING BLAST. A

eavesdropped on Nazi enemy officials. Then, safe in her room, she wrote it all out in INVISIBLE INK on her sheet music or pinned her notes in her underwear and carried them home to France. “Who would dare search Josephine Baker to the skin?” A little COUGH in Barcelona turned into PNEUMONIA in Madrid. Sent on a mission to Casablanca, EXHAUSTED and still coughing, she landed in a North African hospital. Her visitors—Resistance members— held secret meetings at her bedside. Newspapers

Paris she searched for a theater to present her NEW SHOW, JOSÉPHINE. Finally, the Bobino theater said yes. She worked, rehearsed, practiced— sang thirty songs and DANCED her wild CHARLESTON. “ wore my heart on my toes and my soul on my lips. sang for the Paris that created me and wept as danced.” She received her best reviews ever. “THIS IS NOT JUST A COMEBACK. THIS IS AN ETERNAL RETURN,” raved L’Express. Paris had opened its arms to Josephine, once again. Her doctors

in another way, I’ve been working on this book my whole life. When I was a child, I remember going on a family trip to New Orleans. It was there, in a gift shop, that I first saw an amazing poster of a woman in a banana skirt. I was mesmerized. My grandmother told me the woman was a wild character and a great dancer named Josephine Baker. Later I would learn it was an illustration by Paul Colin, and in college, I would come across the film The Josephine Baker Story, directed by Brian Gibson,

And Tumpy DANCED. “I didn’t have any stockings. . . . I danced to keep warm.” She flung her arms, she flung her legs. Like she flung her heart and her soul. ’Cause DANCIN’ makes you HAPPY when nothin’ else will. Leavin’ with the Show 1917–1921 RACE RIOTS—white against Negro— ERUPTED across the river, across from her shantytown. ’Cause some Negroes earned better wages than whites. At better jobs. WHITE RABBLE-ROUSERS spread lies— said Negroes were invading white

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