Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Singable Picture Books of Ashley Bryan

Posted on: June 6, 2012

I love Ashley Bryan’s illustrations, especially the pictures created from cut paper which are bright and beautiful, a quality one of his Singable Picture Books celebrates.


Just look at that face!  He radiates warmth and love!
Seems to me so much of what is GOOD about life is right there in that face!

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An article about Ashley Bryan and his book, “The Words to My Life’s Song.”  The article includes biographical information about Ashley Bryan’s extraordinary life:
http://ncvfoundation.org/?id=book.archive.2011

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Wiki article about AshleyBryan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashley_Bryan

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This link, from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art exhibition of Ashley Bryan’s work, contains a list of Ashley Bryan’s picture and poetry books.  It is quite exhilarating to look at just the cover art of all the books and notice that even if the book is not singable, music in infused in almost everything:
http://www.carlemuseum.org/Shop/Books_DVDs/Exhibitions/2005/Painter_and_Poet_The_Wonderful_World_of_Ashley_Bryan

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This Simon and Schuster page for Ashley Bryan includes a video of him telling a story and talking about his work:
http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Ashley-Bryan/706174

Here’s something I love that he says about the POWER OF MUSIC:

I love all music!  I love from the classical to the jazz to the folk music whatever is in music and sound because that’s the way the child begins: with music.  It’s the music, the voice, the spirit of sound of the rhythms that play into the way they move, the way they grow. It’s essential.  Even the rhythm of our breathing.  All of those things play into the music of our lives.

All the exposure I’ve enjoyed with Ashley Bryan so far have combined to make me love him!  His work, his presence, his thoughts, the love the radiate off him are inspiring.  If only the world had more people like Ashley Bryan!

Here’s another invigorating quote from Ashley Bryan, regarding passion for your work, always being an artist in whatever work you do, and always doing the best work possible:

When I am doing my work, it is for other people and I want you to get  the very finest aspect of anything I can do in what I would offer.  So the passion in what you are doing, what ever the area of work, you always want to tap that essence of the love of what you are doing and the encouragement you will get in doing in it well.

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ABC of African American Poetry 
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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All Night All Day (A Child’s First Book of African American Spirituals)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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All Things Bright and Beautiful
Words by Cecil F. Alexander
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
(This wonderful rendition of pictures from cut paper, includes a page of info about Mrs. Cecil Francis Alexander and printed music)
Click here for the Sing Books with Emily “All Things Bright and Beautiful” Refrain Poster Card:
all things bright and beautiful – refrain poster

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Carol of the Brown King
Nativity Poems by Langston Hughes
Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
ISBN 0-689-81877-7

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Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Heros of the Bible in African-American Spirituals)
Words and Music by Various Artists
Selected and Edited by John Langstaff
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Piano Arrangements by John Andrew Ross
(This book features printed music)

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I’m Going to Sing (Black American Spirituals Volume Two)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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Let it Shine (Three Favorite Spirituals)
Traditional words and tunes
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
(This book illustrates the spirituals: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS”)

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Walk Together Children (Black American Spirituals Volume One)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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What a Morning! (The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals)
Music and Lyrics by Various Artists
Selected and Edited by John Langstaff
Arrangements for Siging and Piano by John Andrew Ross
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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What a Wonderful World

Words and Music by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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Watch a short/sweet video of Ashley Bryan talking about where he’d most like to be in the world:
http://books.simonandschuster.ca/What-a-Wonderful-World/Bob-Thiele/9780689800870
Find the video window and just press Play

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Words to My Life’s Song
Written by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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Videos featuring Ashley Bryan

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b359TH4-61g

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjmyNiEqEbE

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDnMesAP6Fg

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyCVCtwhPLg

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7REBumHUzPM

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See a video here from Maine Public Radio for Maine Resident, Ashley Bryan’s reason to read.  I could not embed this video, but it is a wonderful interview and worth the trouble of clicking the button and watching.  Ashley Bryan was able to find the wonderful aspects and benefits of living through the Depression in the Bronx:
http://video.mpbn.net/video/1372108711/

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Related Posts

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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate February is African American History Month
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/singable-picture-books-celebrating-african-american-history-month/

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ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
A Collection of Singable Picture Books Based on the Song “All Things Bright and Beautiful” by Cecil Frances Alexander
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/a-few-favorite-singable-books-part-32-all-things-bright-and-beautiful/

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CHRISTMAS

A Collection of Singable Picture Books that celebrate CHRISTMAS!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/singable-picture-books-for-christmas/

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EARTH’S BEAUTY AND BOUNTY, STEWARDSHIP AND BEING GREEN

Celebrate Earth’s beauty and bounty, being green, and environmental stewardship with this lovely list of Singable Picture Books:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/singable-picture-books-with-a-green-theme/

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PICTURE BOOKS (NOT NECESSARILY SINGABLE) WHICH EMBRACE MUSIC AS AN IMPORTANT AND ENRICHING PART OF OUR LIVES

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/picture-books-not-necessarily-singable-which-embrase-music-as-an-important-and-enriching-component-of-our-lives/

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POETRY SINGABLE POETRY IN COMPILATIONS

An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/singable-poetry-a-list-of-poems-that-can-be-sung-from-illustrated-compilations-of-poetry-and-singable-picture-books/

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POETRY, SINGABLE POETRY IN INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of individually illustrated poems that have been set to music and can be sung
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/poems-individually-illustrated-spb/

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WHOLE WORLD IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/whole-world-in-singable-picture-books/

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