Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-07 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" This Nina Simone biography for children had lovely artwork that really made me think. I kept going back to the page with people on the bus, since that illustration moved me deeply. I'd recommend this as a book source out of many, for learning more about Nina Simone, jazz, Civil Rights, and racism in the US. " said.

" A brief look back at Nina Simone's life, as told to her daughter.It is illustrated in black and white by French illustrator, Bruno Liance. Alice Briere-Haquet, the author, is also French. It is a beautiful book, but I would have appreciated a note with more details about her life. " said.

" Beautifully written with lovely parallels drawn between Nina Simone's brave action in the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream. There's lyrical language and a deeply moving message, yet I felt this story was lacking somehow. Perhaps it was the abruptness of the ending or the absence of backmatter about Nina's life and musical career. Still well worth reading! And be sure to take in all the beauty of the illustrations. " said.

" I love Nina Simone and was excited to read this with my (12 yo) daughter. But the story felt disjointed, and I couldn’t find a rhythm with the text. We were even confused about whose point of view the story was being told from at first. A high point was the keeping alive the moment of Nina’s refusing to sing when her mother was asked to give up her seat. Even the illustrations there were captivating. " said.

"This beautiful biography of Nina Simone weaves an evening lullaby and moments from the Civil Rights movement into a message of hope. With black and white illustrations, seemingly inspired by the keys of a piano, illustrate the systemic nature of racism. “‘The white keys are whole notes and the black keys are flats, or half notes,’ my teacher explained. I asked why. ‘Because that’s just the way it is.’ Yes that’s the way it was. White was whole. Black was half. It was that way everywhere and for everyone.”" said.

"Powerful. My favorite lines are:
“Music has no color. In music there is only one rhythm. Only one heart.”

I love how as a twelve year old, Nina took a stand for black rights. I love how she noticed as a three year old the unfairness is white and black keys on the piano.

The black and white illustrations are superb.

I wish this book had a biography page of Nina Simone in the back as I see done with many picture Books based on real events or a real person. I would love to know even more about Nina Simone.

“Dream, my baby, dream,”
until you spread your wings...
" said.

"As a musician, a parent, and a huge fan of Nina Simone, I was really excited to read this with my children. Ugh. So disappointed. "The white keys are whole notes" and "in music there is only one rhythm" - um, no. Is this supposed to be poetic? It's inaccurate, sloppy writing. (I haven't read the French version; perhaps it makes more sense?)

As general rules, white people don't need to be writing in first person as black icons, and in this instance a piano lesson or two would have been helpful. Nina Simone's story deserves at least that.
" said.

"This book is based on Nina Simone, jazz legend and activist. The black and white illustrations are sophisticated and incredibly textured.

It seems aimed at a somewhat older audience (older preschoolers, elementary students - middle grade), though even older fans of Nina Simone would probably also enjoy it.

This book could be used in discussions about music & civil rights movements in the USA. It could also be used as a bedtime story, since it starts and ends with putting a child to bed.

The kids enjoyed it.

I felt this book was lacking a back-matter page, so if you are using this book to learn about Nina Simone, it would help to pair this book's reading with additional books or information from other sources.
" said.

July 2018 New Book:

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