Hold Them Close: A Love Letter to Black Children (Hardcover)
When happy things come to you, hold them close and never let go.
From celebrated author of Your Name Is a Song Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, fine artist Patrick Dougher, and photographer Jamel Shabazz, Hold Them Close is a picture book celebration of Black past, present, and future—a joyful love letter to Black children.
As affirming as it is touching and warm, Hold Them Close encourages young children to hold close their joy, the words of their ancestors and elders, as well as their power to change the world. A perfect book for shared story time, this book will inspire young people to march forth with pride, glow, and happiness.
"A love poem to Black children that both educates and bolsters." —Kirkus Reviews
A Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee’s Best Children’s Books of the Year pick!
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is an educator and writer who centers Black and Muslim children in her work. She is the author of Mommy’s Khimar, Your Name Is a Song, and Abdul’s Story and is a contributor to the Once Upon an Eid anthology. She teaches writing to youth in Philadelphia, where she lives with her family.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Patrick Dougher is a self-taught artist, musician, poet, writer, and spiritual activist. He has worked as a teaching artist in New York City public schools, as an art therapist working with HIV-positive children, and as the director of a community arts organization. Patrick uses the arts to empower and support the socioeconomic growth and health of disenfranchised youths of the city. Through his art, Patrick seeks to inspire and celebrate the noble beauty and divine nature of people of African descent.
Hold Them Close is a true work of art. This is a book to be savored and reread in classrooms and homes. — Booklist (starred review)
[This] book is an uplifting family story as much as it is a beautifully fearless introduction to much of Black history and why learning about it is essential for understanding the modern world. — School Library Journal (starred review)
"Thompkins-Bigelow (Abdul’s Story) pens a stirring free verse love letter to Black children and community, carrying readers through a range of experiences to be held tight or dismissed." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The resulting images simultaneously emphasize a painful past, a tumultuous present, and a hopeful future, making for a tribute both sobering and jubilant." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A love poem to Black children that both educates and bolsters." — Kirkus Reviews