Item description for Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky & Nneka Bennett...
Overview Having been born to former slaves, Sarah faced great social and financial difficulties in life, yet determined not to allow obstacles deter her from her goals, Sarah went on to become a successful businesswoman as owner and operator of her own manufacturing company.
Publishers Description An inspiring picture-book biography of a woman who succeeded on her own terms. Born December 23, 1867, Sarah Breedlove Walker was the youngest and first free-born child of Minerva and Owen Breedlove of Delta, Louisiana. As sharecroppers, their lives were hard, but slavery had ended, and the Breedlove family was free. And if you were free, you could dream. VISION OF BEAUTY depicts Sarah Breedlove Walker's rise from a bleak world of poverty and discrimination to unprecedented success as an influential businesswoman and philanthropist. Orphaned at age seven, married and widowed by twenty, Sarah was a young mother struggling as a laundress when she began to lose her hair. Through tenacity and faith, she discovered her own cure, founding the phenomenally successful Mme. C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Representing a woman's ability to achieve economic independence, Madam Walker offered a vision of freedom and dignity for her people, and became a powerful role model for women and girls of all races and classes. The story of a woman with the courage to dream--and the determination to build a better life for herself and her race.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 12.08" Width: 8.46" Height: 0.45" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Jan 5, 2000
ISBN 0763602531 ISBN13 9780763602536
Availability 0 units.
More About Kathryn Lasky & Nneka Bennett
Kathryn Lasky says, "When I was a little girl growing up in Indianapolis, I loved having a lemonade stand. One of my very early memories is coming into the kitchen with a jar full of money and my mother exclaiming, 'Goodness, Kathryn, maybe you'll grow up to be the next Madam Walker!'" Kathryn Lasky lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nneka Bennett studied animation and illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has illustrated many books for children and currently lives in East Orange, New Jersey.
Kathryn Lasky currently resides in Cambridge, in the state of Massachusetts. Kathryn Lasky was born in 1965.
Reviews - What do customers think about Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker?
Woman of Vision Mar 23, 2008
The pictures are beautiful. The story thoughtfully written. More importantly, the book's message of hope, hard work, and loyalty comes through loud and clear. As a business woman, Sarah (Madame CC) was not only supportive to her sisters "of color" she was loyal to the community in which she lived. We all have "brothers and sisters" we can reach out to and help. It's a message needed in today's world.
Excellent black history biography Feb 23, 2007
I really enjoyed sharing this book with my class. I am a primary teacher and I thought that the storyline and facts given were appropriate to share with young children. She is a person in african american history who all should admire for her courage and tenacity.
A wonderful biography of Madame C.J. Walker! Jul 2, 2000
This is a partially fictionalized account of Sarah Breedlove, a young impoverished girl born free just after slavery who grew up and became inventor of hair-care products for Black women. She owned and operated her own business and became financially successful. She renamed herself and her business Madame C.J. Walker. With her business acumen she soon became one of the richest women of her time. Though she lived lavishly, she was a great philanthropher of her people, giving of her time and money to charities for the betterment of the African-American race.
She employed a large number of Black women to promote and sell her products, thereby giving women an opportunity to have a profession that gave them pride and economic freedom.
The author grasps the blatant racism of the times without being depressing about it. She also captures the spirit of Madame Walker, an uneducated sharecropper who had a dream and achieved it.
The text is well illustrated with watercolor and pencil drawings in soft colors. This book would be a good addition to a school library collection for browsers and report writers alike.
Excellent book for one and all! Apr 19, 2000
Summary: This is a real life story of a young freed slave girl named Sarah Breedlove who feels inferior to white women because she is not as beautiful. She soon discovers a way to use herbs and oils to create hair products that will provide "colored" women with healthy hair. To advertise, she relies on ads that show colored women with healthy hair and a confident demeanor. As her company continues to grow, she employs other colored women who are willing to go into women's kitchens to show them the proper procedures for creating healthy hair. She also supports colored women in their fight for equality. She even stands up to Booker T. Washington when he implies that only colored men can fight for equality in the business world. Madame Walker (as she calls herself--Walker being her married name) becomes one of the wealthiest people in the country, yet she still fights for social justice.
Critical Review: In this picture book, Lasky creates an exciting story of a woman who overcomes the odds without forgetting her past and how she got to where she is. Lasky is able to do this by portraying Madame Walker as a real character with issues and struggles with which many readers may be able to relate. The illustrations by Bennett are beautiful and add to the story by capturing the essence of Madame Walker and her product line. Bennett's pictures are realistic and enchanting. In the author's letter, Lasky admits that she had to "fill in" some of the gaps left by her research. She does this exceedingly well in that the entire story seems possible. Though there were some gaps, Lasky based as much of the story as possible on research, some of which was from a first hand account by Walker's great-granddaughter. This book is about a minority group which is not stereo-typed by either the author or the illustrator. Overall, this book is very enjoyable and brings out some really great points. It will be surprising if the book does not win an award such as the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, or Newbery.
Curriculum Connections: The possible curriculum connections in this book are numerous. One obvious connection is history. Lasky points out the racial and gender discrimination of the time. Connections can be made both to the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Suffrage Movement. Another connection is in the field of science. Walker uses herbs and oils in her hair products. Students can examine the qualities of such herbs and check out how many are used in different types of products today. A third connection is climate. Lasky points out the different types of weather that Walker experiences as she moves from region to region around the US. Students can check out weather patterns that exist in different areas of the world. A final connection can be made in geography because Walker moves around the country so much.