Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson's gorgeous picturebook biography, Nelson Mandela, begins with these lines:

"Rolihlahla played barefooted
on the grassy hills of Qunu.
The smartest Madiba child of thirteen,
he was the only one chosen for school.
His new teacher would not say his Xhosa name.
She called him Nelson instead."

Free verse is used to outline important moments in Mandela's life within the context of South African politics. Kadir Nelson's paintings glow in warm, rich colours and brown faces and hands dominate the pages. The cover of this book has no text on it at all. Instead, there is a striking portrait of the beloved South African lawyer who fought for justice and to end apartheid, was a political prisoner for over 27 years, won a Nobel peace prize, and was elected president of his country by a landslide.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: July 18, 1918 - December 6, 2013.

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