D is for Drinking Gourd is a wonderful picture book that tells the African-American story with beautiful illustrations, and offers a great introduction to African-American history for young children ages 2-10.
The book begins with “A is for abolitionists” and continues with other important highlights of Black history including “E is for Emancipation,” “G is for the Great Migration,” and “H is for Harlem Renaissance,” all in a way that is understandable to young children. It is a great tool for sharing African-American history to young children in a factual, yet heartfelt way that doesn’t only tell of the atrocities of Black history, but also of the triumphs and victories.
One of my favorite references in the book is “D is for Drinking Gourd” from the book title, which explains how fugitive slaves referred to the Big Dipper as “Drinking Gourd.” The book explains how this constellation helped slaves locate the North Star which guided them toward freedom.
Other significant events highlighted in the book include the founding of the NAACP, history of the Tuskegee Airmen, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and the congressional terms of African-Americans including Hiram Revels, who is unknown to many, but in 1870 became the first African-American United States senator.
D is for Drinking Gourd is a must for any adult who wants to introduce Black history to a child, and it is a great way for teachers to celebrate Black History with students. It is a truly heartfelt compilation of both heartbreaking – and victorious moments in Black history and should be read by adult of all races who want to share an accurate and heartfelt history of the African-American experience.