Float Like a Butterfly by Ntozake Shange

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Muhammad Ali, considered by many to be the finest athlete of the twentieth century, is also one of the most famous Americans of his time. Here is a compelling testimony to his courage, resilience in the face of controversy, and boxing prowess by Obie Award-winning author Ntozake Shange. In her own words, Shange shows us Ali and his life, from his childhood in the segregated South, to his meteoric rise in boxing to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Edel Rodriguez's stunning artwork combines pastels, monoprint woodblock ink linework and spray paint on colored papers to capture Ali's power, spontaneity, and energy. A time line and list of additional resources and Web sites help make this a standout picture book biography of the man known around the world as "The Greatest".

About Ntozake Shange

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Ntozake Shange is a writer, educator, and poet. She was born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey on October 18, 1948. Shange graduated from Barnard College in 1970 and entered the University of California, Los Angeles, earning a master's degree in 1973. It was while in graduate school that she adopted her African name. Shange taught writing and took part in poetry readings and dance performances. She taught drama and creative writing at several colleges and universities, including Yale and Howard. In 1983, Shange became associate professor of drama at the University of Houston. Shange wrote For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, a choreopoem that opened on Broadway in 1976. The show won an Obie Award and was nominated for an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Shange also wrote the trilogy, Three Pieces, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry in 1981. She also received an Obie in 1981 for her adaptation of Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. Shange has also published novels, collections of poetry, and a children's book. Edel Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba. He left for America on a boat with his parents and sister when he was 8 years old. His drawings and illustrations have appeared in four picture books, including Float Like a Butterfly and Oye, Celia!, on stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, The New Yorker, and posters for Broadway shows. Edel has also been an art director at TIME Magazine for over a decade. He lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey.
Published October 1, 2002 by Hyperion Book CH. 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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This fervent but sketchy tribute to the world’s best known living athlete gives young readers stylized, spray-painted views of a comic book–style superhero with hugely exaggerated muscles and, generally, an open mouth, paired to eye-glazing captions.

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Publishers Weekly

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Rodriguez (Mama Does the Mambo) begins with a close-up view of the subject as a child, poised and gazing heavenward, then shifts to a full-bleed spread that conveys the historical backdrop: the boy stands at a "colored" water fountain, on the right of the horizontal painting, looking across the g...

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