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The Resource Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman

Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman

Label
Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Title
Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Statement of responsibility
Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Title variation
Dont say aint
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In 1957, a young girl is torn between life in the neighborhood she grew up in and fitting in at the school she now attends
Storyline
Character
Illustration
Review
  • Gr.1-3. When Dana gets the highest grade on the city test and is accepted into the advanced integrated school, her godmother boasts about it in the inner-city neighborhood. But Dana doesn’t want to leave her old friends on the street, and she feels uncomfortable with the teacher and kids in her new school. The time is 1957, but the issues of class and prejudice are timeless, and Bootman’s handsome, realistic oil paintings capture both the period setting and one child’s personal conflict. There’s not much of a story (Dana learns to hold on to her roots even as she succeeds at school with “correct” English), but the immediate words and pictures will bring children up close to the individual characters. Most moving is the portrait of Dana’s godmother: she embarrasses Dana in public (“She’s goin’ to grow up to be a doctor!”) and nearly smothers the child with attention. Yet the best scene shows Dana teaching the older woman to read. (Reviewed February 15, 2003) -- Hazel Rochman
  • Gr 2-4–Dana and her friends Cindybelle and Ellamae live in Harlem in the 1950s where Dana's godmother reminds them, "Don't say ain't, children. People judge you on how you speaks!" When her goddaughter's high scores on a special exam provide access to an advanced, integrated school, the girl isn't quite as enthusiastic as Godmother. Children snicker when her teacher corrects her speech, while at home, her friends call her "Miss Smarty Pants." One day, her teacher announces plans to visit each student's home, and Dana is first on the list. When she arrives, Dana is surprised to learn that "…Godmother knew Mrs. Middleton's mother back in Charleston, South Carolina." However, she is absolutely stunned when her teacher exclaims, "Honeychile, I ain't gonna eat more than one piece of your famous peach cobbler." Confused at first by the woman's use of nonstandard English, Dana is smart enough to discover an essential truth. She reconciles with her friends and announces, "If you want to say 'ain't,'…/Just say it at home./And when you roam,/Speaking proper sets de tone…." Engaging, richly hued oil illustrations effectively capture the characters and setting. The flap copy notes that New York City schools were first integrated in 1957, and Smalls portrays the advantages open to a select group of students with subtlety. This perceptive and useful title can be used to generate discussion on a variety of issues.–Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (Reviewed March 1, 2003) (School Library Journal, vol 49, issue 3, p207)
  • Dana lives in Harlem in the 1950s and is smart—so smart that she is selected to go to an integrated school. But it means being separated from her best friends. Her godmother insists she go to the new school in her best party dress but the other girls are dressed in skirts with matching sweater sets. Dana misses the "running jive and banter" of her friends and the teacher asks her not to use "ain't" in school. Her classmates ignore her but she has the gumption to answer the last math problem when no one else can. Although she does well in school, she has no friends and her best friends are never at the corner anymore. The last straw is her teacher's announcement that she will be visiting each student's home, and she will begin with Dana. When her teacher arrives, Dana discovers that her godmother and teacher are the best of friends and speak in the familiar language (replete with aints) that she and her friends do. She and her two friends finally talk it out and while they're playing their favorite game of double Dutch, Dana makes up a verse—'If you want to say ain't, So people won't faint, And laugh and think you're quaint, Just say it at home." The wonderfully realistic oil illustrations are reminiscent of the fifties (all of the girls wear skirts-even when jumping rope) but are static and posed. The verso title page includes a quote from The Trouble They Seen: Black People Tell the Story of Reconstruction wherein a Louisiana freedman says that his children should be educated so they can read to him and, since he trusts them, he will know it's true. Educators will find this useful for experiencing an historic time not often seen in books for this age level. (Picture book. 7-9) (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
103242
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Smalls, Irene
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Interest level
LG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 1
  • 3
Reading level
3.6
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Bootman, Colin
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Schools
Target audience
primary
Label
Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Talewinds book."
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
450767
Dimensions
28 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9781570913815
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2001004400
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781570913815
  • (Sirsi) ADJ-3142
  • IG$ 2001004400
Label
Don't say ain't / Irene Smalls ; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Publication
Note
"Talewinds book."
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
450767
Dimensions
28 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9781570913815
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2001004400
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781570913815
  • (Sirsi) ADJ-3142
  • IG$ 2001004400

Library Locations

    • Carver BranchBorrow it
      1161 Angelina St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2695584 -97.7240278
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