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He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
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About the Author

Kadir Nelson's award-winning books include Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange, which won the Coretta Scott King Award and was an ALA Notable Children's Book; and Just the Two of Us by Will Smith, which received an NAACP Image Award. Mr. Nelson lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and two daughters.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-This traditional Sunday school spiritual (Dial, 2005) that explains that everything on Earth is beautiful and cherished is beautifully and vividly illustrated by Kadir Nelson in oils, pencils, and watercolors. The paintings show scenes of mountains and a park full of people as well as intimate pictures of a child and his family engaged in special activities such as fishing and flying kites. For the verse "He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands," Nelson depicts the African-American boy that is present throughout holding a child-like drawing of multicultural people. Crystal Taliefero's expressive voice brings the spiritual to life, and children can be heard singing along in the background. Background sound effects add to the enjoyment. Activities designed to introduce children to African-American spirituals are included on the DVD.-Traci Glass, Southeast Regional Library, Southeast Regional Library, Gilbert, AZ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Nelson uses the old spiritual--offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it's available in many collections--as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing "the moon and the stars," "the wind and the clouds," "the oceans and the seas," and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand--demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and na�ve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review"Nelson's vibrant signature illustrations rendered in pencil, oil, and watercolor breathe new meaning and life into this favorite Sunday school spiritual in which families, communities, and forces of nature are celebrated with lively images and inspiring scenes. The cover painting of an African-American boy against a colorful landscape beckons readers inside to discover the wonders of creation. With each page turn and line of verse, Nelson gives fresh, thought-provoking interpretations to the lyrics that will stir the imagination and spark discussion. For example, "He's got my brothers and my sisters in His hands" depicts the boy, present throughout the book, holding a childlike drawing of people of different races and skin tones, suggesting the notion that all humanity should be viewed as "brothers and sisters." The simple, repetitious flow of the words and the refrain make this an excellent read-aloud choice as well as a sing-along favorite. A moving, artistic celebration of our world and the people who share in its splendors." -School Library Journal, starred review

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