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Amazing Grace
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About the Author

Caroline Binch's illustrations for Hue Boy , written by Rita Phillips Mitchell, won the Smarties Prize. She illustrated the bestselling story Amazing Grace and several other Grace stories by Mary Hoffman. Gregory Cool , which Caroline wrote and illustrated, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and her Since Dad Left won the United Kingdom Book Award in 1998.To visit Caroline's website click here MARY HOFFMAN is the internationally acclaimed author of over 100 books for children, ranging from picture books to teenage fiction. Her first picture book for Frances Lincoln, Amazing Grace, has become a classic which, with its sequels in the series, has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide. Mary s other picture books for Frances Lincoln include The Colour of Home with Karin Littlewood and An Angel Just Like Me with Cornelius van Wright, as well as the hugely successful The Great Big Book of Families, The Great Big Book of Feelings, and Welcome to the Family, all with Ros Asquith. Their next title together will be The Great Big Body Book. Mary Hoffman lives in Oxfordshire. For more information about her books visit her website: www.maryhoffman.co.uk

Reviews

K-Gr 2-- Grace loves stories, whether she hears them, reads them, or makes them up. Possessed with a marvelous imagination as well as a strong flair for the dramatic, she acts the stories out, always giving herself the most exciting parts. Thus, it is natural when her teacher announces a classroom production of Peter Pan , that Grace wants to play the lead. One classmate says she can't because she's a girl and another says she can't because she's black. When a saddened Grace relates the days events to her mother and grandmother, they tell her she can be anything she wants to, if she puts her mind to it. Inspired by her family's support, her own indomitable spirit, and an excursion to a weekend ballet starring a lovely Trinidadian dancer, Grace shines during her audition, leaving no doubt in anyone's mind as to who will play Peter Pan. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations portraying a determined, talented child and her warm family enhance an excellent text and positive message of self-affirmation. Grace is an amazing girl and this is an amazing book. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library

This was a groundbreaking book about race and gender when it was first published, and it remains an absolute standard - brilliantly told with superb artwork. || Provides an opening for talking about race, gender and self-esteem with young children.

``Grace was a girl who loved stories.'' Empowered by the strength of her imagination and the love of her mother and Nana, this dramatic, creative girl constantly adopts roles and identities: Joan of Arc, Anansi the Spider, Hiawatha, Mowgli, Aladdin. When her class plans a presentation of Peter Pan , ``Grace knew who she wanted to be.'' She holds fast despite her classmates' demurrals; Nana, meanwhile, reminds her granddaughter that she can do anything she imagines. When Nana takes Grace to see a famous black ballerina--``from back home in Trinidad''--the determined youngster is aroused by the performance, and wins the role of her dreams. Featuring colloquial dialogue and endearing characters, Hoffman's ( My Grandma Has Black Hair ) tale is truly inspiring. First-timer Birch contributes evocative, carefully detailed watercolor paintings, which add their own share of emotional power and personal passion. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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