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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Follow the Drinking Gourd by Cari Meister

Title: Follow the Drinking Gourd
Author: Retold by Cari Meister
Publication: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Picture Window Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Children’s
Audience: 4 and up

Summary:Follow the Drinking Gourd is an American folk song from the 1920s. Legend has it that a man called Peg Leg Joe taught slaves the song to help them escape to freedom, and they used the Big Dipper and the North Star to guide the way.

My Thoughts: My 6 year old daughter, Jessie, and I read this together. We both loved it. This is a quick educational read. This is the retelling to the story that is the basis for the folk song. The illustrations are fabulous. I like that this book included a glossary to help young readers. I used this story as a tool to talk about slavery and our family’s role in slavery. Jessie’s comment was “the slave part was bad, but it was good when they followed the gourd to get free.”  My daughter and I made up our own tune to the lyrics, as I couldn't remember the tune, and we sang. Jessie and I even went outside in an attempt to find the drinking gourd and the north star. I am by no means an astrologist, needless to say we didn't find it.

1 comment:

  1. Aww! I remember having a book like this read to us by the librarian in elementary school. I think Reading Rainbow even did an animated book type episode on the drinking gourd. I can't believe I still remember that, but I do remember the book and the video, I'm not sure if it was a library video or Reading Rainbow. I thought the drinking gourd was the big dipper? I can usually find a dipper not sure if it is the little or big because I'm not an astrologist either.