Friday, April 5, 2013

PPBF: Shining


Share your favorite children's poetry book during the month of April. Happy National Poetry Month!

Title: Shining
Author/Illustrator:Julius Lester/John Clapp
Publisher/DateSilver Whistle: Harcourt, Inc./2003
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Ages 6+
Themes: being different, fear, listening, true-to-self, coming-of-age, "variations around the theme of the color black" (from Author's Note), figures of speech

"Once upon a time and long, long ago, in a mountain village far, far away, a girl as black and silent as wonder was born."

Synopsis: (From book jacket)
"As black as wisdom, with a gaze as bottomless as the unknown, Shining is as quiet at the night. Although she is silent, her parents are devoted and steadfast in their love for her. What they cannot know, as she grows, is that the day will come when the mystery will end and they will come to understand her silence. One day, Shining will be the leader of her people. Newbery Honor author Julius Lester has created a tale of individuality - part fairy tale, part coming-of-age story - about the power of listening to the silence within."

Why I Love This Book
The lyrical language is gorgeous and Lester's theme to "create figures of speech in which the color black would be associated with goodness and beauty rather than evil and ugliness" is a noble one. This unique tale of being different, the power of fear, and the importance of listening captured my heart.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. Laura, excellent choice. This is a very spiritual book for me and I'm going to have to read it. I love the "silence within" as it is a key to wisdom. Gives me chills. And, the book sounds very lyrical. The cover surely catches your attention. Beautiful choice.

  2. I love to hear about picture books for older children. It's unusual to have a coming of age picture book. Now it's on my list to find!

  3. This looks like a wonderful story and a beautiful book, Laura! Thanks for sharing it...I love books that give kids a look inside another part of the world...broadening their horizons and helping them connect with other cultures.