Sing to the Sun is a collection of poems celebrating and depicting different aspects of African American culture.  The topics cover everything from music to nature, African heritage, family, play, and other aspects of everyday life.  The poems “Granny” and “The Black Birds’ Party” are written in the classic African call and response style, making it a fabulous read-aloud.  The poems are all very joyful and vibrant, in keeping with the title of the collection.  Kids of all ages should enjoy and be able to relate to these poems.

The illustrations are done in a brightly colored, African-inspired style, and there is at least one illustration for every poem.  Just like the poems, Bryan’s contrast of vivid warm and cool colors is sure to put a smile on your face.


Because of the numerous references to family and African heritage, this book could be a good tool in a social studies class for young children.  It could be used to tie parts of our everyday lives to the lives of ancestors who came long, long before us.  The tradition of call and response is just one example.  This connection could also be made with songs children are used to singing, games they play, hairstyles they are used to seeing, and art they enjoy.

This book would also work just fine as a simple soul-lifter on a dreary Monday morning.  Whatever your purpose in reading them, I hope you enjoy these poems.

“Sing to the Sun

It will listen

And warm your words

Your joy will rise

Like the sun

And glow

Within you”

-Sing to the Sun, Sing to the Sun by Ashley Bryan

Post by Hallie

Sing to the Sun, Poems and Pictures by Ashley Bryan

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