written by 
Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Brenda Joysmith

Jump at the Sun, 2000
ISBN 0-7868-0562-5

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From National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Thomas comes a glorious collection of ten African American lullabies. Here are the hush songs that have gentled babies and comforted children for generations, from "Brown Baby" and "Scarlet Ribbons" to "Raisins and Almonds." Also included are three original hush songs by Joyce Carol Thomas: "A Song for You," with music by internationally famous gospel composer Steven Roberts; "The Angels’ Lullaby," with music by Dr. Olly Wilson, gifted professor of music; and "Petal Child," with music and lyrics by Joyce Carol Thomas. The collection reflects ancient memories and tomorrow’s promises.

Beautifully illustrated by Brenda Joysmith, this one-of-a-kind collection includes easy-to-read music, historical headnotes, and an introduction by Joyce Carol Thomas. Hush Songs is a collection to share and treasure.

Parents' Choice:

This is a lovely way for parents to introduce African American lullabies to their children. Joyce Carol Thomas has collected ten songsmost traditional, a few originaland given insightful introductions. Thomas provides the lyrics and music for each lullaby. The songs are accompanied by lush illustrations by popular artist Brenda Joysmith. This is a beautiful book for families. A 2000 Parents' Choice® Approved winner.


Designed for adults to sing to babies and preschoolers, this collection of 10 African American lullabies includes the words and full musical scores as well as notes on each song and a general introduction. Some are traditional songs (such as "All the Pretty Little Horses"); others are by contemporary writers and musicians, including three beautiful hush songs with original words by Thomas.... The songs themselves are timeless.... They touch all of us.

Hazel Rochman

Publishers Weekly:

Joyce Carol Thomas gathers 10 soothing melodies for bedtime into an elegant volume, Hush Songs: African American Lullabies, illus. by Brenda Joysmith. From standards such as "All the Pretty Little Horses" to three songs for which Thomas wrote lyrics and/or the music, each melody opens with a beautiful pastel portrait of one or more children.

Susan Heyboer O'Keefe:

This collection of traditional and original lullabies, selected or written by National Book Award winner Thomas, is a delight for everyone. No matter what your background ... Even for those unable to read music (like myself), the lullabies work on the level of poetry and can be recited softly instead of sung. Ages 4 to 8 for comprehension, but even infants in the womb will love these songs.

Copyright 2004-2007 Joyce Carol Thomas. All rights reserved.
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