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The People Could Fly : The Picture Book

by Virginia  Hamilton
Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2004
32 pages
ISBN: 0375824057

Ages 5-12

Long ago in Africa, it's said, the people knew how to fly, a skill that was forgotten when they were brought to the new world as slaves. Only one man remembered the magic incantation. When things got unbearable for the captives, he whispered the word into their ears so that they could rise up and escape. The title story from Virginia Hamilton's seminal collection of African American folktales, first published 20 years ago, appears here with the words unchanged for this picture book edition. Leo and Diane Dillon's luminous gold-toned illustrations beautifully express their dreams of liberation and freedom. The final picture shows a contemporary family sharing stories as the spirit of Virginia Hamilton looks down from above. An editor's note at beginning of the book shares a letter Hamilton wrote her about the story in 1984. CCBC categories: Folklore, Mythology, and Traditional Literature.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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