Miz Berlin Walks

 

My grandmother, Fanny Berlin, lived in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Every evening she took a long walk around the block. She was the inspiration for this book that is about a black child and an old white lady who tells stories to her as they walk. Cooper’s paintings are sensuous stories on their own.

What reviewers have said:

  • "At first Mary Louise is afraid of old Miz Berlin who walks around the block of her Virginia home, talking to herself. But once she gets close enough to listen she is spellbound by Miz Berlin’s stories about the past. Oil-wash paintings complement the nostalgic tone of this rhythmic celebration of storytelling, and the intergenerational, interracial friendship it builds." — Horn Book
  • "Yolen is pitch perfect in her delivery of this tender tale of the friendship that blossoms between an elderly white woman and an African-American girl., Cooper’s pictures are bathed in Virginia sunlight." — Publishers Weekly
  • "Cooper’s luscious oil-wash paintings maintain Yolen’s vision perfectly, as he portrays the luminous young Mary Louise listening to the stories and imagining herself right there with Miz Berlin. This poignant book conveys through simple words the power of stories to build bridges between two very different people, and it reminds us that the stories are left behind after the people are gone." — Booklist
  • "A storyteller’s dream, this rhythmic blank verse tale knits a tight weave between an elderly white woman and the young black girl who one day summons enough nerve to trail along on Miz Berlin’s walk-and-talk odyssey." — Children’s Literature
  • "At the end, when Miz Berlin dies, the girl realizes that she has shared an experience that will be part of her life forever. While a number of intergenerational stories are available, most center on a grandparent-grandchild relationship; this, like Nancy White Carlstrom and Amy Schwartz’s Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lily (HarperCollins, 1990), focuses on a friendship between two non-related people. The cross-cultural cast is an added plus." — School Library Journal
  • “Oil-wash paintings complement the nostalgic tone of this rhythmic celebration of storytelling, and the intergenerational, interracial friendship it builds.”—Horn Book Guide

Available in the Philomel hardcover.


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