Patricia Polacco is a storyteller that uses history as her guide, bringing children all sorts of tales that come straight from the heart of the past. Many of these tales have important things to say, but come across without being forceful. Kids can enjoy the story as well as the illustrations, also rendered by Patricia Polacco, and will have her books on their shelves for years to come. Pink and Say brings the Civil War into a child’s home, but in a very unexpected and rather heartwarming way.
Say Curtis is a white Union soldier, whereas Pinkus Aylee is a black Union soldier. Both of them are captured by Southern forces and sent to the prison of Andersonville. The two meet, and despite the differences in their skin color, they are both on the same side and soon become friends. Together they deal with the hardships of the prison and realize the power that friendship can offer.
Patricia Polacco based Pink and Say on accounts brought down through her family of two very real soldiers who were in this same situation. In fact, Polacco’s great-great-grandfather is one of those soldiers. She bases her book upon this true story, bringing the tale to children everywhere so they can take a look into the past.
While most picture books shy away from tones that include war and prison, Polacco embraces it and uses it to bring new light to a child’s life in ways even parents may not have thought of. Her powerful paintings bring the story to life in a bold yet slightly gritty style that will fascinate kids. Parents will quickly see what a touching story this is while children will be able to see, even in some small part, the difficulties and challenges of the Civil War and differences in race. Written for children ages 8 to 12, kids will quickly grow attached to this story and see the importance
of friendship and the difference it can make during some of the toughest times a person can face. A good choice for school classrooms as well as the bookshelves at home.