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Nina: A Story of Nina Simone Hardcover – Picture Book, Sept. 28 2021

4.9 out of 5 stars 140 ratings

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From the Publisher

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

Product description


Praise for Nina:
A 2022 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
A 2022 ALA Notable Children’s Book

A 2022 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Winner
A 2022 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist

A 2022 ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List Pick
A 2022 NCTE/CLA Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award Winner
A 2022 ILA Notable Book for a Global Society Award Winner
A 2022 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book Pick

A 2021
Publishers Weekly Best Book
A 2021
Kirkus Best Book
A 2021
Horn Book Fanfare List Pick
A 2021
Booklist Editors' Choice
A 2021 New York Public Library Best Book Pick
A 2021 Chicago Public Library Best Book Pick
A 2021 Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best Booklist Pick

★ “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

★ “Todd’s
musical prose allows readers into Nina’s perspective, and Robinson’s scenes and portraits absolutely sing with energy, keeping pace perfectly with the text. . . Do not miss this complex story of an American legend.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Some storytellers use words to entertain listeners and readers, while others share their tales in song.
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone gracefully brings the life of one such legendary musician into readers’ hearts. . . Traci N. Todd’s straightforward narration is honest and candid . . . [and] fans of Caldecott Honor illustrator Christian Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street, The Bench) will immediately recognize the bold, distinct shapes that are his hallmark. Robinson outdoes himself here . . . reflecting on the strength, hope and revolution she conveyed in her music.” –BookPage, starred review

★ “Todd ends her
unflinching narrative with a perfectly placed, direct-address line: “And when she sang of Black children—you lovely, precious dreams—her voiced sounded like hope.” This unexpected, yet needed, outpouring of love is the perfect end to a stunning book.” –Horn Book Review, starred review

★ “
Compelling and eloquent…Amplifying Nina's humanity is Robinson's signature acrylic paint and collage art (Last Stop on Market Street; Milo Imagines the World), which always hums and thrums with life…Robinson creates stunning visual music for Traci N. Todd's vibrant picture book biography of the great musician Nina Simone.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ “Discussions of racism and resistance are undertaken with a
skillful hand, not exceeding the tone or maturity level appropriate for young readers. Robinson’s jewel-tone artwork is colorful, engaging, and complements Todd’s lyrical text . . . An excellent and magnetic biography, this book is highly recommended in all elementary collections and should be considered for libraries serving older students.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Luminous . . . [and] visually rapturous . . . Robinson imbues Nina with sumptuous colors . . . His elegantly simple figures recall the work of Ezra Jack Keats and occasionally Charles M. Schulz. . . Simone’s precocity, which shines through . . . is nurtured in intimate moments sitting on her father’s lap at the keyboard, letting him guide her as they play “good-time jazz” together, and on Sundays when she provides the rhythmic and “rolling” accompaniment to her minister mother’s sermons. Todd brings nuance to Simone’s musicianship in ways that should prove instructive to curious young readers. . . The journey to merge her astonishing virtuosity and professional achievements with her bold activism is summed up by the arresting portrait of the artist seated at her baby grand and flanked by four little Black girls.” —The New York Times Book Review

moves effortlessly between silky narration marked by subtle wordplay, and pointed references to Simone’s musical activism. Robinson’s collage compositions convey critical civil rights context in scenes playing out atop Simone’s grand piano strings, often fiery images that contrast with the pictures of Simone’s childhood origin story and her front-stage panache.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

When Chicago native Traci N. Todd was born, her father decided her initials should stand for dynamite, just like his. He raised her on Ray Charles and Nina Simone, and her mother read her every good book. Traci grew up to become a children's book editor and currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens where she writes, edits, and listens to Ray Charles and Nina Simone, while her partner draws comic books.

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. You can visit Christian at or on Instagram @theartoffun.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Sept. 28 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1524737283
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1524737283
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 567 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 22.38 x 1.12 x 27.46 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 140 ratings

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Traci N. Todd is an award-winning children's book author and the editor of many successful books, including the New York Times bestselling The ABCs of Black History. She is especially interested in amplifying the experiences of Black and brown folks and in inspiring inquisitiveness, compassion, and hope in all children. She believes the truth is powerful. And she loves a beautiful picture book.

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
140 global ratings
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Top reviews from Canada

There are 0 reviews and 1 rating from Canada

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Wunderschöne Illustrationen!
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on November 12, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational ❤️
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on November 14, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational ❤️
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on November 14, 2022
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Amazon カスタマー
5.0 out of 5 stars 高校生くらいから
Reviewed in Japan 🇯🇵 on January 8, 2022
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Sara R
5.0 out of 5 stars This story is so beautiful, you can feel your eyes glide from page to page
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 30, 2022
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Sara R
5.0 out of 5 stars This story is so beautiful, you can feel your eyes glide from page to page
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 30, 2022
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone written by Traci N. Todd and illustrations by Christian Robinson is the perfect book to highlight for Women’s History Month. Although I encourage you to read it as often as possible.
The story is written so beautifully, you can feel your eyes glide from page to page soaking up as much as you can.
With the illustrations matching the words beat for beat. So recognizable is the artwork of Christian Robinson yet when you read this story (and others he has done) you become immersed in the work. His style is brand new again and you are looking at it for the first time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 19, 2022
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