“From time to time, an individual comes upon a work that goes above and beyond the requirements for a good children’s book. “D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet” is an example of children’s literature that is, most definitely, a candidate for both Newberry and Caldecott honors.

“It exceeds expectations in a BIG WAY!!

“It takes the young reader on a history lesson with a combination of simple poetry and more informative prose as it teaches the alphabet order, as well as facts on such diverse fare as politics, the military, entertainment, migration, and familiar, as well as not so familiar, important historical figures.

“Though I purchased the book solely on my familiarity with the superb artwork of E. B. Lewis, I am glad to have made this discovery. My niece, the intended recipient of the gift book, will have something that she can share with her children and grandchildren.

“Isn’t that the purpose of quality literature, anyway?”
-Reginald Garrard, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

“This book is a first step for those who don’t know much about African-American history. I highly recommend this book to every household. It brings a new and intriguing aspect to African-American studies. I do believe this book will spark new and surprising unit studies. Happy learning!”
— Lyria Moore, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

“D is for Drinking Gourd offers a wealth of information about African Americans, both past and present, who have contributed to business, culture and more. It’s a historical text made up of biography, revolution, invention and daring.”
–Detroit Free Press

“Each entry provides a short descriptive statement for a particular letter and includes a longer explanatory sidebar. This format makes for a dynamic learning experience for all ages. Glowing paintings of key figures and events sweep across each double-page spread. From ‘A is for Abolistionists’ to ‘Z is for Zion,’ this is a book the whole family will want to repeatedly turn to and learn from.
–Washington Parent

“This alphabet book is a tribute to the many thousands of African Americans involved in the struggles for freedom and civil rights. Masterfully rendered illustrations in muted tones capture the moments. Librarians will want to order more than one copy…
–Library Media Connection

“This is an inspirational look at the contributions, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of African Americans.”
–School Library Journal

“A is for abolitionists. P for politics. R for roots. X for Malcolm X. Each letter is presented on a double-page spread with a four-line poem; a long, informative historical note; and a beautiful watercolor painting that evokes the period and people. The historical sequence isn’t chronological, but each page includes plenty of discussion material. True to each time period, the stirring illustrations, many in sepia tones with occasional bright colors, are packed with emotion, from the close-up of a woman stitching a beautiful quilt at home to the overview of the famous March on Washington. The unforgettable painting of the Great Migration evokes old photos of a family leaving home, unsure but brave and looking forward. An excellent reference list includes up-to-date books and Web sites.”
–Rochman, Hazel, Booklist