Blacksmith’s Song

Ages: 6 - 10Publisher: Peachtree Publishers Author: Elizabeth Van SteenwykIllustrator: Anna Rich


Inspired by tales of how people communicated along the Underground Railroad, this historical picture book depicts a family’s escape from slavery in the Deep South. The plantation blacksmith is not just making horseshoes; he’s also hammering out an auditory message &mdash& the traveling rhythm— signaling when it is safe to ?ee.

Anna Rich uses oil painting to skillfully depict the fear and exhaustion written on the faces of family members. The medium lends itself to the orange, yellow, and white of the ?ames, as well as the red sparks. Kudos to Elizabeth Van Steenwyk to tackle the reality of American slavery in a picture book; stories about the Underground Railroad are vital to understanding our nation.

Mary Hollowell ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Mary Hollowell is a parent, a science teacher, and a naturalist. She lives in Peachtree City, Georgia.