We Could Fly (Hardcover)

We Could Fly By Rhiannon Giddens, Briana Mukodiri Uchendu (Illustrator) Cover Image

We Could Fly (Hardcover)


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In a companion to Build a House, Rhiannon Giddens—winner of multiple Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize and cofounder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops—gives wing to a moving tale of grace and transcendence, with acclaimed artist Briana Mukodiri Uchendu.

At a sparrow’s urging, a young girl feels a mysterious trembling in her arms, a lightness in her feet, a longing to be free. Her mother tells her that her Granny Liza experienced the same, as did many of their people before her. Perhaps it’s time, Mama says, to slip the bonds of earth and join the journey started long ago. To hold each other tight and rise. Drawing on lyrics from the song “We Could Fly” by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell, which in turn draw on a heritage of African folklore, this incantatory dialogue between a mother and daughter paired with startlingly beautiful illustrations celebrates love, resilience, and the spiritual power of the “old-time ways”—tradition and shared cultural memory—to sustain and uplift.
Rhiannon Giddens is a musician, singer, songwriter, author, MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize winner, founding member of the traditional African American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the artistic director at Silkroad. She has won two Grammy Awards and has been nominated for an additional six for her work as both a soloist and a collaborator. Her lifelong mission is to uplift people, particularly Black Americans, whose contributions to American musical history previously have been ignored or erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. The author of Build a House, illustrated by Monica Mikai, and We Could Fly, illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, Rhiannon Giddens lives in Limerick, Ireland.

Briana Mukodiri Uchendu is an illustrator, visual development artist, and first-generation Nigerian-American. Her new and forthcoming books include The Talk by Newbery Honor winner Alicia D. Williams, Soul Step by New York Times best-selling author Jewell Parker Rhodes and Kelly McWilliams, and Night Market by Seina Wedlick. Briana Mukodiri Uchendu lives in Houston, Texas.
Product Details ISBN: 9781536222548
ISBN-10: 1536222542
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: November 7th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English
The spare, beautiful verses of this powerful song are well suited to a picture book and well laid out among stirring spreads of artwork in Uchendu’s distinctive textured style. . . Drawing inspiration from Virginia Lee Hamilton and Leo and Diane Dillon’s classic folktale collection The People Could Fly, this work wraps readers in a warm embrace. Perfect for bedtime, naptime, storytime, or sharing in schools, this magical picture book will have readers entranced. Sublime.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)