A Flag for Juneteenth (Kim Taylor)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Flag for Juneteenth by Kim Taylor, a stunning tale of emancipation and hope told through a unique medium.

The morning of June 19, 1865, young Huldah, an enslaved Texan, wakes up with anticipation; she is eager to have the teacakes her family made to celebrate her tenth birthday. However, their morning is shaken when a large group of soldiers rides into the plantation housing area, and a uniformed man jumps down to make a shocking decree: by order of the president, all slaves are free, and have been for two years. Huldah’s family and her neighbors burst into cheering, singing, crying, and prayers, and declare the day to be a jubilee. They get to work sewing freedom flags and carving flagpoles, all while Huldah observes. Her birthday has taken on new meaning, as it is now the birth of something else: her family’s freedom.

Powerful. The first thing that readers of this title will likely notice is the outstanding art style, in which the scenes are created through quilted collage, echoing the craftwork of the impromptu freedom flags. Taylor’s master craftwork is striking, managing to create atmosphere and emotion through her featureless characters. The story is likewise skillfully created, with immaculate pacing in particular; Taylor intersperses moments of quiet contemplation and explosive energy in a way that allows the reader to better connect to Huldah’s emotions. This is not a comprehensive overview of Juneteenth, but gives an intimate perspective from a child’s point of view that readers, especially young ones, will undoubtedly connect with. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ and I both really enjoyed this one. Absolutely worth the read, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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