Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

Publisher: Scribble

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil Rights movement, this formidable picture book explores the life of acclaimed Black singer and musician, Nina Simone. Through lyrical prose and impactful illustrations, children will learn about Nina’s childhood, her passion for music, and how her songs were shaped by the racial segregation and violence which surrounded her.

Younger children will enjoy finding out about Nina’s life and music, while references to the racial discrimination she experienced will prompt important discussions.

Older readers will be able to appreciate the book on a deeper level, exploring the richly symbolic illustrations and reflecting upon emotive metaphors contained within the lyrical text. This should lead to a greater understanding of how the racism Nina witnessed and experienced had a profound influence on her music. Specific incidents of racial violence are mentioned, which will act as a springboard for further investigation into this troubling period of history.

The powerful artwork incorporates acrylic paint and collage, using broad brush strokes and a rich colour palette to create a dynamic visual accompaniment to this thought-provoking, multi-layered tale.

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