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By Helen Bannerman,Illustrated by Christopher Bing
9 x 13 in; 40 pp; 4-color illustrations, ages 5 and upGuided Reading Level: K
November 2007 ISBN 9781593541996 ISBN10 1593541996
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A remarkable celebration from the Caldecott Honor-winning artist!A clever young boy outwits a band of voracious tigers and returns home in triumph to a splendid feast of a yard-high stack of pancakes. The story, penned by Helen Brodie Bannerman for her two daughters in 1889, has captured the imagination of readers around the world and across many generations. But the pictures which accompanied her text were crudely stereotypical and hurtful to many. Caldecott Honor-winning artist Christopher Bing has spent almost fifteen years rediscovering the joy and energy of the original story. He respects that Bannerman was writing in an Indian setting and with Indian animals-after all, there are no tigers in Africa-and faithfully adheres to the original text. However, recognizing that the image of Sambo has been used as a symbol of repression of Africans and African-Americans, Christopher Bing celebrates Sambo as proudly African, a child of beauty and joy, wit and resourcefulness. In recreating the illusion of an antique, weathered, tiger-clawed storybook filled with exquisitely detailed paintings that draw upon a lush jungle-inspired palette, Christopher Bings interpretation of Sambos world seamlessly melds a grand sense of wonder with the minutiae of nature, and a story with history.
Helen Bannerman (1862-1946) was born in Scotland. The daughter of a chaplain who was posted to foreign countries, she lived for over thirty years in India. She married a doctor in the Indian Medical Service, and they had two daughters. The Story Of Little Black Sambo was written by Mrs. Bannerman to amuse her young girls during a long train journey and first published in 1899. Christopher Bing Christopher Bing, whose first book, "Casey at the Bat," was named a 2001 Caldecott Honor Book, lives with his wife and three children in Lexington, Massachusetts, in a house directly on the Freedom Trail, the route on which Paul Revere rode on that fateful night of April 18th, two hundred twenty-six years ago.
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