KING O' LETTERS
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
Caitlyn Dlouhy Book
(pub.10.3.2023) 56 pages
Author: Jason Reynolds
Illustrator: Jerome Pumphrey
and Jarrett Pumphrey
Characters: Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka and Langston Hughes & more
" Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory.
Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and more came be-bopping to recite poems at their hero’s feet at that heckuva party at the Schomberg Library, dancing boom da boom, stepping and stomping, all in praise and love for Langston, world-mending word man. Oh, yeah, there was hoopla in Harlem, for its Renaissance man. A party for Langston."
"Langston was the best word maker around.
could make the word MOTHER feel
like real warm arms wrapped around you,
giving a snug hug.
Could make the word AMERICA look
like two friends making pinky promises,
to be cool,
to be true
Could make the word HARLEM sound
like the perfect place to have a party,
make it seem like you could bust a move
right there in the H or the L or the M of it."
And something more: Jason Reynolds in A Note from the Author explains: "It all started when I saw a picture of two of my favorite word makes, Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka ... dancing.
But why are they dancing? ... I always thought they were just the people who put together cool poems... or the people who spoke out courageously about freedom and a way to become better people and a more loving America.
Turns out, they also loved to boogie! Especially when the party was in honor of word maker of all word makers - Langston Hughes - who wrote my favorite poems..."