Citation: Giovanni, N. (2005). Rosa. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.
Summary: A book about Rosa Parks and the day that her life was changed. That momentous day hardworking, seamstress Rosa Parks was on her way home early from work. While on her bus ride home, she was asked to move to the back of the segregated bus. After her kind and calm refusal because she was tired of being treated unfairly, she became arrested. This sparks a movement toward equality and the story tells of how others followed by boycotting the bus systems. It also mentions a young boy named Emmett Till who was "viciously lynched" in which this event, as well as others, lay the beginnings for the movement.
Impression: Peace, Love and a Must Read!
A peaceful and informative read that I did love reading myself because I was able to learn more information about other events that took place around the infamous Rosa Parks incident. Because I felt that I wanted to learn more about the lesser known events that did occur, I did some more research about young Emmett Till. I'm on the fence about this picture book being considered "user-friendly" with young children, simply because it mentions lynching, but none the less, I would definitely share the book with others.
Reviews: Gr 3-5-- Rosa Parks's personal story moves quickly into a summary of the Civil Rights movement in this striking picture book. Parks is introduced in idealized terms. She cares for her ill mother and is married to "one of the best barbers in the county." Sewing in an alterations department, "Rosa Parks was the best seamstress. Her needle and thread flew through her hands like the gold spinning from Rumpelstiltskin's loom." Soon the story moves to her famous refusal to give up her seat on the bus, but readers lose sight of her as she waits to be arrested. Giovanni turns to explaining the response of the Women's Political Caucus, which led to the bus boycott in Montgomery. A few events of the movement are interjected-the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the aftermath and reactions to the murder of Emmett Till, the role of Martin Luther King, Jr., as spokesperson. Collier's watercolor and collage scenes are deeply hued and luminous, incorporating abstract and surreal elements along with the realistic figures. Set on colored pages, these illustrations include an effective double foldout page with the crowd of successful walkers facing a courthouse representing the 1956 Supreme Court verdict against segregation on the buses. Many readers will wonder how it all went for Parks after her arrest, and there are no added notes. Purposeful in its telling, this is a handsome and thought-provoking introduction to these watershed acts of civil disobedience.
Bush, M. (2005). Rosa. School Library Journal, 51(9), 192.
Rosa Parks sat. "She had not sought this moment, but she was ready for it." When she refused to move out of the neutral section of her bus to make way for white passengers, she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. She was tired of putting white people first. Giovanni's lyrical text and Collier's watercolor-and-collage illustrations combine for a powerful portrayal of a pivotal moment in the civil-rights movement. The art complements and extends the text, with visual references to Emmett Till, the Edmund Pettus Bridge and Martin Luther King, Jr. The yellowish hue of the illustrations represents the Alabama heat, the light emanating from Rosa Parks's face a shining beacon to all who would stand up for what's right. A dramatic foldout mural will make this important work even more memorable. An essential volume for classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 5+)
Rosa. (2005). Kirkus Reviews, 73(14), 789.
Use in Library: - Everyone is pretty familiar with the name Rosa Parks, but are they clued into some of the details that surround her story? This book would be a great place to start to inform others of how the people were treated unequally and unfairly based on their race or color. A guest speaker could also be invited into the library to discuss racism and inequalities.