Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Langston Hughes
Illustrator: Sean Qualls
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
An African-American mother makes up a lullaby for her child. She wonders what she should sing about—the stars, the moon, the night? In the end she combines them all into a lovely lullaby for her precious child. The lyrical poem and illustrations show the bond between a mother and her child and celebrate a bedtime ritual that everyone can relate to.
Langston Hughes wrote Lullaby (For a Black Mother) in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. The poem is expressive and reminiscent of the rhythm of jazz and the blues, prominent musical influences of the time. The illustrations are a perfect marriage with the text. They are primarily in deep blue and purple hues and are exquisitely rendered in acrylic, pencil, and collage. Qualls does a brilliant job of capturing the feeling of the poem in his illustrations. This is a great book celebrating the African-American culture and the loving relationship between parent and child.