14:14 PBC, MOSES

untitled (69)TITLE: MOSES:WHEN HARRIET TUBMAN LED HER PEOPLE TO FREEDOM
AUTHOR: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Jump to the Sun and Perma-Bound
Year: 2006
Word Count: 1424
Summary: This nonfiction book describes Harriet Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on her very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude.

This challenge is 14:14 PB Challenge by Christie Wild.

I had choices. There were so many books to choose, but I wanted this one. I wanted to read about a woman who was determined. A woman who persevered. And a woman who was a dreamer, believer, a challenger and a motivator.

I wanted to know about a woman whose bones were beaten, but wouldn’t let her dreams be broken. A woman who knew to look to the sky and follow the star. I wanted to know about Harriet Tubman. And I did!

I see the wheels turning in your head, and I know what you’re thinking.
“1424-words for a picture book?”
Yes, that’s accurate. However, do not question the word count. It’s about the content. I know the industry is looking for books in the 500-600 word range. However, stories can be told in 500-600 words. But great stories should be told in as many words needed to get the message across, and 1424-words did justice.

I will analyze the STORY ELEMENT #7 : WORD PLAY (ONOMATOPOEIA, ALLITERATION, & SIMILE)

I love the writing of this piece. The use of onomatopoeia (sound words) delivered the story in n rhythmic way. Two-word alliterations sprinkled through out. And the use of simile (comparing two things using ‘like’ or ‘as’) drove the plot forward.

ONOMATOPOEIA

“She (Harriet) grips the ax to chop wood, breathes deeply, and MURMURS.”
“Owl SCREECHES”
“Frogs CROAKING”
“As the wagon WOBBLES along…”
“A heart song LULLS her to sleep”
“A mosquito BUZZES in Harriet’s ears”
“Back on shore, hounds SNARL, SNIFF for Harriet’s trail”
“…gut CHURNS”

ALLITERATION
“Her heart flutters. HUSH: hoofbeats!”
“WELL DONE, MOSES, WELL DONE.

SIMILE
“She recalls dreams where she FLEW LIKE A BIRD”
“Harriet feels LIGHT AS A CLOUD”

I chose this book for three reasons. One, it is the month of February and Black History Month. Two, it is the Week-Of-Writing Mini Retreat. Three, I am working on two nonfiction picture books so since I had to find mentor text, I decided to kill two birds with one stone 😀

This book is written in a lyrical prose. The illustrations are amazing. I love everything that Kadir Nelson touches. He is the Midas of illustrations to me; so talented and amazing. But this story is about knowing that nonfiction doesn’t have to be boring. This book is entertaining, fun, quick and easy to read. The pacing and flow of the words on the page allows the reader to connect with the pictures.

So in the words of Harriet Tubman, “Lord, don’t let nobody turn me ’round; I’d rather die than be a slave.”

I agree, Harriet! I agree!

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9 Comments

  1. Great review! This appears to be a rich, deeply rich book in both illustration and content. Your focus on word play resonates with the theme, as I can almost hear Harriett Tubman speaking in her cultural dialect with the luscious alliteration and sound-based phrasing.

  2. Pingback: Christie Wild 14:14 Picture Book Challenge | Why I Write Picture Books? (#YIWritePB)

  3. Hi, Jackie! I also love Kadir Nelson’s work. So beautiful and moving – every time. I love how you broke down “Word Play” into three different parts and in the quoted examples gave the specific parts in ALL CAPS. Very nice. Looking forward to the rest of your posts. I may not get a chance to comment on every single one though.

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