Nina by Alice Brière-Haquet, illustrated by Bruno Liance
Saturday, January 27, 2018 is the 5th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day! I am honored to once again participate in this wonderful event as a book reviewer.
Children want to see stories about their families, cultures, customs, traditions, histories, and religions in books. And it’s important to expose all children to literature that reflect people who are different from them. One way to introduce kids to diverse stories is through characters in picture book biographies. NINA: JAZZ LEGEND AND CIVIL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST NINA SIMONE is an introduction to the civil rights diva, High Priestess of Soul, and icon of American music, Nina Simone.
by Alice Brière-Haquet; illustrated by Bruno Liance; translated by Julie Cormier; published by Charlesbridge; ages 4-8
The publisher sent a copy for me to review, however, all opinions expressed are my own.
The story begins with a tender moment, a mother telling her child a story. The mother is Nina Simone; the child is her daughter. The story Nina tells is about her own life.
To set the story in motion, Nina shares her earliest memory of learning to play the piano. She compares her blackness to the physical difference between the notes on her keyboard. The imagery is powerful.
“The white keys are whole notes and the black keys are flats, or half notes,” my teacher explained.
I asked why.
“Because that’s just the way it is.”
Yes, that’s the way it was. White was whole. Black was half.
Despite her experiences growing up in a country where white people and black people were treated differently, Nina didn’t allow discrimination to interfere with her dreams. When Nina was 12, she refused to sing when her mother had to give up a front-row seat to white people at a concert. This early memory demonstrates how Nina learned to use her voice to fight for social justice, too.
Music has no color. In music there is only one rhythm. Only one heart.
The story of Nina Simone is about a talented artist and how she feels about the world in which she lives. Readers learn why and how she speaks out against injustice. This is the kind of story that would inspire children to believe they too, can use their voices to do the same.
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers.
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm. #ReadYourWorld & #MCBD2018
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies
SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina, Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
10 thoughts on “Nina by Alice Brière-Haquet, illustrated by Bruno Liance”
This book recommendation has come just in time for Black History Month. I’m always looking for new books for my son. Thanks for participating in MCCBD.
Indeed Frances. Timely. And the book is a good place to start a discussion about the history of African Americans in the United States.
Thank you for introducing me to this book. I love sharing the lives of influential African-American women (and other women) with my kids. This sounds wonderful!
My pleasure! I know you will enjoy it.
Sounds like a beautiful story. Perfect for Multicultural Book Day! Thanks for sharing it.
You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by!
Great review. Isn’t MCBD fun!
Love this annual event.
What a lovely book about how determined Nina learned to use her voice. And it is an intergenerational story too. It is a wonderful title for PPFB, MCBD and Black History month!
Good point Patricia. So many good books. Nice to see how the list of multicultural books have grown.