Lubaya’s Quiet Roar – written by Marilyn Nelson, with paintings by Philemona Williamson

  Lubaya’s Quiet Roar – written by Marilyn Nelson, with paintings by Philemona Williamson, Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780525555551, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Lubaya is a young girl whom many would consider an introvert. In Swahili, Lubaya means “lioness”, creatures who are fierce, brave, independent, and loyal.  She listens, draws, and contemplates the world around her. Although she may not fill the room with her words, she is a presence to be reckoned with. She draws on the back of her parents’ protest flyers and imagines how the world could be. The breaking news one evening suggests the need for more marching and her parents gather the posters. The next day Lubaya’s quiet roar is on full display through her colorful illustrations, sending the very important message of hope and the power of peaceful protest. Williamson’s vibrant and colorful oil and crayon paintings provide a sense of happiness and togetherness that are much needed during these challenging times in particular.

To whom would you recommend this book? Although the text is economical, the concepts it explores are deep and complex. This text would work on its merits as a read-aloud for younger children or serve as a springboard for discussion about peaceful protest, marches, and standing up for racial equality – “a quiet roar can make history.”

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books or collection of diverse picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 11/26/2020

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