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Toni Morrison’s Most Powerful Picture Book Quote Ever

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Toni Morrison’s Most Powerful Picture Book Quote Ever

“Scary thoughts are your creation when you have no information.”

Toni Morrison, Please Louise.

There’s no better time than now during black history month and beyond to introduce young readers to the works of one of the greatest writers of all time. On February 18, Toni Morrison would have been 90 years old. What a wonderful way to commemorate her birthday than to dive deep into the children’s books she co-authored with her son Slade Morrison.

Noble Prize in Literature. Pulitzer Prize Winner. Eleven novels. Ten picture books. Four screenplays. World-renowned author Toni Morrison is best known for her novels. She is, however, not so well-known in the children’s books world. Freedom is the thread theme in most of her books.

Toni Morrison wrote fun, light-hearted, entertaining picture books. Where readers feel safe from start to finish, you could almost imagine her as Nana, the fun and spunky gives her grandchildren all the freedom to enjoy the day and in the end passes a secret family recipe that leaves a great big mess but everyone is happy.

Other times she advocated for children’s freedom to have more room to explore and find themselves in Little Cloud and Lady Wind, Little cloud has big dreams. To go some place different and become something different. Luck is on his side, she meets lady wind, who believes in her, and is committed to help little dream’s come true.

In The Big Box. Toni Morrison takes the reader into a world wherer grown fears, concerns and pressure box children in. A mirror for the adults who have plenty concern about children who can’t handle their freedom. The book portrayed the harsh reality for children who do not conform to the grown up world. Free spirited children can identify themselves in this book.

The book of mean people is a rare piece of work that gently explains ‘visible abuse’ on the level that a child can understand. For children who know such experience, a simple tip is shared “I will smile anyways”. Don’t let them get you down.

In Remember: The Journey to School Integration Toni Morrison gave a historical account of what it was like for the children who went through the school integration

In her ‘Who’s Got Game’ series, her comic style format draws inspiration from Aesop’s Fables. They touch on issues such as bullying, how society places value on ones worth, friendship and who to accept as a friend. They are filled with great dialogues, and rhymes. Most importantly, these books would be great for a children’s philosophical discourse.

Please Louise, is about a girl who knows the power of the mind. When she expressed her fears, she takes control of her thoughts and emotions, which massively influence her reaching her destination, a libaray.

As I turned each page, it could have been as if Louise had a guardian angel by her side. When her mind wandered and sought out something negative from what she could see. Louise immediately corrected her negative thought to see it from a different and more positive angle.

Toni Morrison wished children and youth experienced her work at earlier ages to build a love for knowledge and books. There are many themes for adults to reflect on in her book. If there were such a thing as an adult book club for children’s books, some of her picture book would be on their lists.

Knowledge is Power

To have power over your mind backed by knowledge sets you free. For most book lovers, the ending melts your heart. It sends the message that you always have a friend and a safe place to live and explore the world in a book. The sad and lonely girl transforms into a happy and content child in her solitude, surrounded by her new best friends.

Have you read one of Toni Morrison’s picture books? Do you agree with me that line is her best quote in a picture book? Can you offer a better line? What are some of your favorite Toni Morrison sentences from her picture books? Share them on our Facebook page or comment below.

Check out all of Toni Morrison’s picture books below!

  • The Big Box (1999). ISBN 9780786823642.
  • The Book of Mean People (2002). ISBN 9780786805402.
  • Remember: The Journey to School Integration (2004). ISBN 9780618397402.
  • Who’s Got Game? The Ant or the Grasshopper? (2003),
  • Who’s Got Game? The Lion or the Mouse? (2003),
  • Who’s Got Game? Poppy or the Snake? (2004). ISBN 9780743283915.
  • Peeny Butter Fudge (2009). ISBN 9781442459007. page2image22614912
  • Little Cloud and Lady Wind (2010).
  • The Tortoise or the Hare (2010).
  • Please, Louise (2014). ISBN 9781416983385.

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