Did you know that Maya Angelou wrote a children’s book? She did, back in 1994. I have been reading her book to my preschoolers long before I really knew of her.Embed from Getty Images
I was always drawn to her quote in the introduction of the book:
To all the children, for they are the hope of humankind.
Yes! This statement was so profound, so direct, and so right. It crawled under my skin and made me think. Hard. Every time I read the book, I read the quote.
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me
The story of a child in South Africa, her family, and her best friend, a chicken. Maya tells a tale that is engaging to children and full of interesting facts. She manages to weave words that are as powerful as they are simple:
All children are hope for their families, and many Ndebele girls are named Hope. If you like, you can call yourself Hope, too. In secret, of course.
Many years after finding and reading this book, I stumbled across Maya Angelou’s powerful words. She says things with few, well chosen words that make a difference. She is an ember that lights a fire. These are her words that made a difference for me:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
I love this post! Maya Angelou is so great in so many ways! 😍
Thank you! I totally agree.
That’s so true… I remember so few details about what people said, but I never forget how being with them made me feel!
Yes! These words seem to steer me the right way. And, they’re like dominos; the more I think about how others feel, the more I change to be a person that thinks about others first. Thank you for that, Maya!
All of those quotes are significant. I love Maya Angelou’s words. I remember reading her book for children, but I don’t think I own it. I think I read it in the American Museum of Natural History’s bookshop when I visited there last year. And I left it there! How could I? I think I’d already bought too much to bring home. Now I can order it to fly to me. Thanks for the reminder. The last quote about feelings reminds me of your most recent post. You, and she, are inspirational.
Thanks, Norah! If I can inspire someone, that’s as good as it gets. So glad to got over here and went to the museum in Washington. It is wonderful. Your school children would love the book. 📚
I’m no longer in school, Jennie, but my grandchildren, and the biggest child, their grandmother, will love it! 🙂
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – My favorite quote from them all. Rare to find a quote of hers I don’t like however. I think that’s a fair “trade-off” having people only recall how one made them feel!
You hit the nail on the head!
I love this book, as well! I read it to my class every time I do a unit on Africa. It is a great story to expose children to another culture and it opens up endless ideas in creative art!
You are so right, Shelley!
She was an amazingly wise woman and had such a way with words!
Yes she did!
I love her work but did not know she wrote a children’s book. Not surprised though.
I didn’t know she wrote a children’s book, Jennie. Thanks for letting me know. She was a wonderful poet and human being ❤
Yes she was. Children have always liked this book. Me, too! The illustrations are photographs.
This is a lovely share for me, Jennie. I did not know that Maya Angelou wrote a children’s book. How wonderful you are to introduce this to us! I will keep my eyes open to purchase this. It would be a family “treasure!” Hugs, Robin xo
Hugs to you, too. It is a terrific book.
I am heading to half price bookstore and will keep this on my list! I am reading science fiction books with a male friend of mine, usually I am a big library fan over purchasing books. (Mainly due to cost, but also limited space. . . that being said, I have plenty of children’s books. 🙂 )
I never knew she wrote any children’s books.. She was a great writer and poet..
Yes, she was. The illustrations are photographs. Children love this book and Maya’s words are perfect.
Half price books didn’t have this fine book but I will keep my eyes open when I go to other bookstores, Jennie!
It is an oldie but goodie!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
This post is an excellent discussion of a children’s book by Maya Angelou.
Thank you for reblogging this story behind Maya Angelou’s children’s book. 📚
This is wonderful and I won’t forget how Maya Angelou made me feel. Great timing for this post, Jennie, as children start their 2017 school year! 🙂
Indeed! Thank you, Karen.
I had no idea! Can’t think of a person I’d rather have writing for children though. She is so empowering. 🙂
Yes she is! I’m glad I let people know that she wrote a book for children, and a good one.
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Many thanks for sharing this post!
I didn’t know that Maya wrote a children’s book. Let’s hope that this knowledge of the book’s existence leads to its increased popularity. This, hopefully, will result in a reprinting of the book and its widespread usage.
Yes, let’s hope the word spreads that her children’s book is out there. Libraries still carry it! Such an important person with great words to say.