Updated: Aug 21
Derrick Barnes (@Author_DDB) shares I AM EVERY GOOD THING and we're joined by my 4th and 5th grade podcast cohosts. CROWN: AN ODE TO THE FRESH CUT was received widely with praise and fanfare and awards and state book lists and my students, as well, were fully enamored with the story of the confidence carried along with a fresh haircut. So when there was an opportunity to speak with Derrick about I AM EVERY GOOD THING, his next book with longtime friend and illustrator Gordon C. James, I thought bringing on my students would be extra special. Derrick talks about the importance to see each other through the same lens, but also recognize our differences in the process. He reminded my students that we define who we are. He left a mark both in this book and in our conversation that will endure and resonate with my readers and with me for a long time. We’re so excited for you to hear this conversation, too.
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ON TODAY'S EPISODE:
An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winningCrown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.
The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!
The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother's hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.
A fresh cut makes boys fly.
This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber's chair--a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That's where it all begins.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cutis a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.
Brought to you by Newbery Honor author Derrick Barnes, eight-year-old Ruby Booker is the baby sis of Marcellus (11), Roosevelt (10), and Tyner (9), the most popular boys on Chill Brook Ave. When Ruby isn't hanging with her friend, Theresa Petticoat, she's finding out what kind of mischief her brothers are getting into. She's sweet and sassy and every bit as tough as her older siblings. She sings like nobody's business; she has a pet iguana named Lady Love; her favorite color is grape-jelly purple; and when she grows up, she's going to be the most famous woman animal doctor on the planet. She's the fabulous, oh-so-spectacular Ruby Marigold Booker!
Derrick Barnes (website)
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