Joyce Carol Thomas was asked in an interview with The Brown Bookshelf, "What was it that made you decide to begin writing for children?" Her response was, "When my children were born, I noticed that they watched me reading books. Then, they would pick up a book and pretend to read it. Children, I think, soak up everything their parents do and say." My experience tells me that she is right.
Joyce Carol Thomas has published more than 30 books. Many of them have received Coretta Scott King award recognition including The Blacker the Berry and I Have Heard of a Land. In addition to writing, she has spent time as a motivational speaker, teacher, playwright, and professor (joycecarolthomas.com). In an interview with HarperCollins she said, "I hope that my stories and poems create a bracing and embracing sense of joy in children. Word by word, song by song. Young children need to believe in the special beauty that already exists in them."
This week we read two picture books by Joyce Carol Thomas that are collections of poetry, Gingerbread Days and Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Publishers Weekly reviewed Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea and stated, "Joyce Carol Thomas celebrates the beauty and heritage of African Americans in a lyrical collection of poems. Couched in language that is learned yet emotional, the verses focus on family life, love, freedom and dreams." Many the poems in the book mention honey and bees. I remembered while reading the poem, Honey, that my son asked many weeks ago if he could get his own bee suit, so that he could help me work with our bees. I thought a perfect way to celebrate Joyce Carol Thomas' birthday we be to take a trip with three of my children to a special little place to fulfill my oldest son's dream of becoming a beekeeper. - Click Here to Read More -