Some Kind of Love:Every summer, relatives (old and young, big and small) come together from all over the country for a huge family reunion with cousins, brothers, sisters, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles. All have one thing in common: their love for each other. This African American family gathers every summer at their grandmother's house, with folks sleeping wherever there is room.
A Family Reunion in Poems
by Traci Dant
illustrated by Eric Velasquez
NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2010
ages 8 - 12
available on Amazon and at your local public library
"Must be some kind of loveKids and grownups eat and laugh and tell stories and remember. There are sleepovers, days spent fishing, cousins riding bikes, and men telling stories that "make my work-hard Daddy laugh like / he'll never have to janitor all night and farm all day again." Told through the eyes of a nine-year old boy, this set of poems captures the moments of a family reunion - from the laughs to the heart-felt tender moments.
that moved my grandma to say,
Always come home.
Come home so I can see your faces."
Traci Dant dedicated this book to her father, Melvin Dant Jr.. He "inspired me to write the poems in Some Kind of Love. He is the one who grew up attending every Mother's Day reunion in Hannibal, Missouri. He is the one who told stories about aunts and uncles and cousins I'd never met."
I adore Eric Velasquez's paintings - he is one of my favorite illustrators, especially for capturing emotion in people's faces. Here, he creates oil paintings that capture the warmth and depth of feelings in each family member.He's chosen to make the paintings soft and warm, almost like memories. I miss some of the clarity that I sometimes see in his work, but appreciate the feelings that come through.
I love being able to share with my children and students this African American family full of love for each other. As we head toward Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, it's the love I feel for family and friends that I want to celebrate. And I think children really understand this. As Traci Dant writes,
"What love you must feelMany thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.
for your family. Those folks
who nutured you in the garden
of their hearts. What a special
special something it must be
when you all get together."