Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
This illuminating and defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the story of little Eunice who grew up to become the acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy.
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother’s preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina’s voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.
Christian Robinson received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. He is the author and illustrator of the picture books Another and You Matter, and he has illustrated many more, including Carmela Full of Wishes, the Gaston and Friends series, School’s First Day of School, and The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.
★ “Nina Simone’s beauty and talent is given prominent expression by multiaward-winning Robinson in this picture-book biography . . . while Todd’s prose eloquently tells her story from childhood to fame . . . A worthy biography for all collections and especially for those that serve music-loving children.” — Booklist, starred review
★ “Todd’s telling shines in this skillfully paced portrait of Eunice Kathleen Waymon (1933-2003)–more widely known by her stage name of Nina Simone–which traces her journey from a piano-playing child in North Carolina to later years as a performer, protest song pioneer, and civil rights activist. . . An engaging, affecting, and powerful biography that aptly situates Simone’s enduring legacy in musical and social history.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
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