The Genie in the Jar by Nikki Giovanni

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Synopsis

Nikki Giovanni's evocative, lyrical poem spins words of freedom, but warns against the pain it can bring. She weaves a glowing fabric on the black loom of language, colored with hopes and dreams. With hints of jazz and folktales and nursery rhymes, The Genie in the Jar is also a simple story of love. With illustrations by Chris Raschka, this poetic evocation of love and pride is as deep as the human heart. Full color.
 

About Nikki Giovanni

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Nikki Giovanni is one of the most prominent black poets of her generation. Born on June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tenn., she graduated from Fisk University and later studied at Columbia University. Giovanni creates strongly written poems to convey messages of love, frustration, alienation, and the black experience. She gained national fame with the publication of Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgement in 1970. Full of the spirit of the black community during this era, her works captured the anger and frustration of many of its members. Giovanni has been the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation. She has taught English at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Queens College and has given frequent poetry readings. She is also known for several sound recordings of her poetry, including Truth Is On Its Way. She has also been a Professor of English at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Chris Raschka was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania on March 6, 1959. He received a B.A. from St. Olaf College in 1981. He is an author and illustrator of children's books. His books, Yo! Yes? and Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, are famous for their minimal texts and inventive art. Mysterious Thelonious was made Horn Book's Honor List in 1997 and Hello, Goodbye Window won the Caldecott Medal in 2006.
 
Published March 1, 1996 by Henry Holth & Co (J). 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A poem by Giovanni (Knoxville, Tennessee, 1994, etc.) for the singer Nina Simone becomes a luscious illustrated work with Raschka's watercolor, ink, and oil stick figures.

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Publishers Weekly

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Reading the text aloud helps, as the cadence of the words emerges, but younger readers especially may puzzle over the meaning: ""Make the sky sing a Black song/ sing a blue song/ sing my song make the sky/ sing a Black song/ from the Black loom from the Black loom."" The abrupt ending, which acts...

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