The wonder of Christmas never ceases. Each year the holiday comes and its story seems fresh and new. The ways of telling about the very first Christmas are as many and as varied as the stars in the sky. And so it was for Langston Hughes, who recounted those long-ago events in six different ways -- in live poems he wrote and in one he translated from the Spanish. In this memorable book, these six poems are simply and movingly illustrated by Ashley Bryan. That Christmas is for everyone -- young and old, black and white, rich and poor -- has never been more clearly shown. Though African American children -- and adults -- will find the book a special one for them, everyone who takes time to enjoy the book will come away with a new understanding of the holiday. Ashley Bryan has long been known for his interest in and illustration of African American spirituals and poetry. Here he puts his gifts of illustration to work in a way that seems to reflect his dedication to both.
Langston Hughes (1902–1967) was born in Joplin, Missouri, and lived much of his life in Harlem, New York. As one America’s most cherished chroniclers of the black experience, known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes’s work was constantly groundbreaking throughout his forty-six-year career. His poetry about the ocean and the symbolism that surrounds it stems from his travels through Africa and Europe working as a seaman.
Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he was recently named a Newbery Honoree for his picture book, Freedom Over Me. He has also been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; has been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer; a Coretta Scott King Award winner; and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. His books include Freedom Over Me; Sail Away; Beautiful Blackbird; Beat the Story-Drum, Pum Pum; Let It Shine; Ashley Bryan’s Book of Puppets; and What a Wonderful World. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine.