"Bearden called his art “visual jazz,” and this handsome, fictionalized picture-book biography stays true to his rich connections to blues rhythms. With well-chosen quotes (all documented in appended notes), the rhyming first-person narrative in Bearden’s voice remembers the people and places of his childhood roots, and his memory “whirls back” to his growing up in the rural South and then his train journey north to Harlem.

Echoing Bearden’s distinctive style, the richly textured collage art combines original paintings with paper, fabrics, and photos…The moving climax shows and tells Bearden’s approach to work, blending his roots with improvisation: “When I put a beat of color on an empty canvas, / I never know what’s coming down the track.” A lively introduction to the artist for young children and for older readers, too.” Booklist


“The interplay of poetic and visual metaphor makes for a striking presentation; adults who can appreciate and chant the bluesy poem as well as sensitively interpret the pictures together with children are the ideal collaborators in savoring this intriguing work.” Kirkus Reviews


“[T]his homage to the artist incorporates his love of the blues and jazz and takes the shape of a standard blues song with its repetition and varying rhythms… Practicing it as a read-aloud is a must to ensure conveying the flow of the “song” to the audience. The accompanying artwork is beautifully done in oil paint and mixed-media collage…A great addition to an existing collection of art books and certainly to the books for children on Bearden.” School Library Journal


“It's a soft-spoken exploration of the ways in which experience is transformed into art.” Publisher Weekly


“This book gives teachers and librarians an excellent source of the Great Migration North, life in the north and south, and how children can be inspired by it all… Children will stay attentive to the innovatively written text and colorful illustrations. Recommended" Library Media Connection

My Hands Sing the Blues-

Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon


Two Lions (Marshall Cavendish)

ISBN-10: 0761458107

ISBN-13: 978-0761458104