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Let it Shine

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  94 reviews
With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power of these beloved songs simply emanates through his joyous interpretations. ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 350)
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Jj
Let It Shine, indeed! This book really is pretty amazing. I much enjoyed these super-colorful interpretations of commonly known and beloved spirituals. My personal favorite was "He's Got The Whole World in His Hands"--a real standout, even here. Best of all, the artwork is all created with good old paper and scissors (no rock required)...so ANYONE reading this can take inspiration and go forth to create.
Holly Nelson
This beautiful illustrated book tells of three spiritual songs. The three songs are “This Little Light of Mine”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, and “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In”. The colorful illustrations celebrate the spiritual message in each of the songs that are shared in the book. The illustrations show hope and encouragement through messages in traditional African-American spirituals. The text is directly from songs that most kids may find familiar and have experienced re ...more
Natalie Payton
Summary/Critique:
Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan is a picture book that takes you through three songs, “This Little Light of Mine”, “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In”, and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. Though this book did not display a plot, I found a deeper meaning through the songs regarding freedom and hope. These three songs were originally sung by the African-American slaves when they were not free. They sung these songs and expressed their hopes and fight for freedom. This book
...more
Jessica Cain
Summary and Critique:
This book was composed of three songs, “This Little Light of Mine”, “He’s Got he Whole World in His Hands” and “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In.” These songs have been passed down from generation to generation to show authentic culture from which they each came from. The song “This Little Light of Mine” is representing a child that is different and unique and that is what you can see from the illustrations, the song is about a light and each child is holding a different f
...more
Gerron Butchcoe
“Let it Shine” by Ashley Bryan is the colorfully illustrated book about three well known African-American spiritual songs, “This Little Light of Mine”, “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In”, and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. The reworking of these three songs is illustrated to interpret the meaning of each of the songs. Bryan created this book to celebrate the African-American culture and for everyone to enjoy.
I found this book to be illustrated very well for the style of book. Its si
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Margo Martin
Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan is a great book because of the consistent inclusiveness shown on each pages illustrations. Each song celebrates specific culture, while also including other ethnicities into their story, and with this, a true theme of unity is seen throughout. In this book, culture explodes through the bright illustrations that tell the story of the songs “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands ”. Each one of these ...more
Alexandria
Each song celebrates specific culture, while also including other ethnicities into their story, and with this, a true theme of unity is seen throughout. In this book, culture explodes through the bright illustrations that tell the story of the songs “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands ”. Each one of these are songs that have been passed down from generation to generation and illustrate the authentic culture from which they ...more
Javone Mcclelland
Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan is an amazing book with beautiful, detailed illustrations on each page. There are three main songs in the book which are the main focus: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching in,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” All of these songs have survived generation to generation, culture to culture, and on every page the illustrations go into depth about what culture these songs derived from; the book is filled with diversity. For example, ...more
Nicole
My personal reaction to this book was the vibrant colors in the illustrations and how they grabbed my attention. An example would be the many people immersed through the book and how they all are different colors.
I would use this for read aloud enrichment-related purposes. This book would be appropriate for 6th grade. This is for enrichment-related purposes. Within the book there is three songs,“This Little Light of Mine”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, and “Oh, When the Saints Go Mar
...more
Mallori Allphin

This is an enchanting picture book that is composed of three spiritual songs: “This Little Light of Mine”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, and “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In”. It is beautifully illustrated with pictures that truly bring the worlds off the page and into the life around you. The colors are so bright and captivating and give such a feeling of personality to the written songs. It’s vibrant colors are captivating and depict the style and uniqueness of other cultures. Th
...more
Sarah Foote

This is a poetic picture book which includes three different lyrics to songs. The songs are: ‘This Little Light of Mine’, ‘Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In’, and ‘He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands’. These songs can be seen as religious as well as cultural. The pictures are extremely colorful and elude to the cultural aspect of the songs. In the picture students can pick out the cultural differences depicted. The book has the ability to show cultures coexisting in a peaceful manner with th
...more
Katie Grasher
Overall I thought this book was pretty good. The pictures are what I believe made it a winner in that category. For this purpose I did not cite much because I felt like the words weren’t anything that was super different, just unique in the fact that the whole book had three different gospel songs in it. I believe the biggest strength of this book is the pictures because all of the people that were represented were different colors as I mentioned above. There were people who were green, red, blu ...more
Cheyenne Cortesi
The book teaches the reader "Negro Spirituals". Within this book are three songs created by African American slaves: This Little Light, When the Saints, and In His Hands. Each song is accompanied with vibrant-colored layered art, all made with construction paper. The artwork is bright because all three songs deal with becoming free. These songs helped give many African American slaves hope for a bright future. At the end of the book, there is sheet music to show the reader exactly how the songs ...more
Michaela George
This is a wonderful picture book that brings to life three different musical songs through picture and color. The pictures really brought the songs to life. You were able to have vivid images in your head of what was happening or what the songs theme was portraying. The three songs that were composed in this book were “Oh When the Saints go Marching in”, “This Little Light of Mine” and “He’s got the Whole World in his Hands”. These are all very spiritual songs and fun for students to read and si ...more
Alyssa Ruehl
This book personally reminds me of my experiences in my Catholic grade school and high school. We use to sing the three songs included within the book, "This Little Light of Mine", "When the Saints Go Marching in", and "He's Got the Whole Word in His Hands". These three songs send a message about God and being His follower. The book is illustrated with cutouts and paper, which will help attract the attention of children from the ages of 4-8. This book could be used as a read aloud for curricular ...more
Cara Wilson
Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals by Ashley Bryan
Cara W., Spring 2015

I feel like “Let it Shine” should be a meaning for both the writing and the illustrations. This book stands out from the minute you pick it up. I was astonished at how much I was captivated by the colors used.

Each song takes it’s place along side the theme of light (hence “Let it Shine”). These songs each focus on a different light around us. This book is well made and it is very visual from the start.

I love this book s
...more
Kaity
Let it Shine by Ashley BryanLet it Shine is a recreation of the song often sang in church “Let it Shine.” The artwork is very bright and colorful and is almost imposible to not pay attention to the book with the illustrations being so fun. The illustrations definitely stand alone and are the definition of a well illustrated bood. Ashley Bryan uses the cut-out collage style of artwork. The kids in the book all look very unique and stand off of the page as unique since they are in a silhouette type manner. This book could t ...more
Greg
Jan 19, 2009 Greg added it
Let it Shine covers three spiritual songs; "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power and emotion from each song is clearly seen in each colorful collection of cut paper on each page. The images used in this book don't just tell the song. They allow the reader to interpret what the song might mean. Many images project upwards; hands open and point up, people's faces are looking up towards the heavens, and people's bod ...more
Matt
Let it Shine written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
1st -3rd grade
I thought that Let I shine was a great and colorful book. It put a new spin on three popular children’s Hymns: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. The color collages really give a great visual effect and wakes up the reader. I’m giving this book a 5, because I was very impressed with the art work and it gives the reader a
...more
Chester Richmond
Let it Shine is an illustrated songbook that reflects one of Ashley Bryan’s favorite songs from growing up that his mother would sing. It is vividly illustrated in a large range of colors implying diversity. The tune itself is also associated with religion and the civil rights movement. It sends the message that no matter what situation arises that you should keep your spirits high. Even in darkness or the presence of Satan, you still must shine. Near the end of the book the creation of earth is ...more
John Sullivan
The book, Let it Shine was created by Ashley Bryan so that children could sing the passages to the tune of well-known songs: This Little Light of Mine, When the Saints Go Marching In, and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. The illustrations were created using bits of cut-up paper, and incorporate many shapes and colors; the most popular colors are yellow, orange, red, and blue, and circles are the primary shapes used. No two cuts of paper are the same, and the combination of pieces on the pa ...more
Erin Ramai
This book won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award in 2008. It is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals, written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan, is a remembrance and glorification of African American slaves' spirituals, namely "This Little Light of Mine", "Oh When the Saints go Marching in" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands". The cut-paper collage illustrations in this book, created with energetic shades of colored construction paper, are kaleidosc
...more
Maggie Klipp
Let It Shine by Ashley Bryan is a picture book that is almost like a hymnal with colorful illustrations. The book starts out with the song that gives it its title, “Let It Shine”. The pictures represent each lyric as the pages go on using silhouettes of adults and children alike. They do not show faces of the people in the illustrations. The pictures depict a sort of joy with the use of only very warm and very cool colors to make the pictures. The next song that this book illustrates is “Oh, Whe ...more
Marlayna
This colorful children’s book is filled with three different spiritual hymns originally called “Negro Spirituals” created by African Americans during slavery. The songs discuss freedom and rejoices in the wonders of life which contradicts what African American people were going through when the songs were created. The author states that she wanted to share these Spirituals so that many others can create their own.
The songs in this book should be familiar to most children so allowing the reader
...more
Grace Willits
Well known songs, "This Little Light of Mine", "When the Saints Go Marching In", and "In His Hands" are brought to life with colorful illustrations in this picture book. Bright oranges, yellows and greens jump off of the pages. Similar to the sing-song of the words in each lyric, the illustrations dance about in their abstract style, created by a “kaleidoscope of color and cut paper.” I love that at the end of the lyrics and illustrations, there is sheet music is provided. It makes brings me bac ...more
Kyra Calnan
Illustrations bring to life well known songs This Little Light of Mine, When the Saints Go Marching In, and In His Hands. Bright oranges, yellows and greens jump off of the pages. Similar to the sing-song of the words in this picture book, the illustrations dance about in their abstract style, created by a “kaleidoscope of color and cut paper.” Sheet music is provided with the lyrics after each song has been illustrated. Ashley Bryan explains the deeper meaning behind the songs, or as she refers ...more
Keely Wells
This beautiful illustrated book tells of three spiritual songs. The three songs are “This Little Light of Mine”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, and “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In”. The colorful illustrations celebrate the spiritual message in each of the songs that are shared in the book. The text is directly from songs that most kids may find familiar and have experienced regardless of their faith or practice. The book shows the important of American history and culture on everyo ...more
Leah Gerber
Let it Shine covers three spiritual songs; "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power and emotion from each song is clearly seen in each colorful collection of cut paper on each page. The images used in this book don't just tell the song. They allow the reader to interpret what the song might mean. Many images have the children’s hands open and up, people's faces are looking up towards the heavens. I think that Ashle ...more
Josephine
Let it Shine is an illustrated collection of three popular spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands." Each page is filled with rollicking, brightly colored construction paper cutouts that truly make the lyrics shine.

I've been using Ashely Bryan's illustrated song collections for years, and I'm so glad to see this new, gorgeous collection get some attention. Not that Mr. Bryan is any stranger to the Coretta Scott King
...more
Betsy
Earlier in the year I sent out a query asking for people to tell me about the books that could win the Caldecott and the title that got the most mentions was "Let it Shine". A book that I had not A) Heard of or B) Seen. I'm correcting this great wrong right now and though I'm not the kind of person who normally goes gaga over cut paper, Mr. Bryan has done some pretty slick stuff with just some colored pulp, a pair of scissors, and some of the finest folk songs in the world.

From the very first pa
...more
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Ashley Bryan is an illustrator, children's author, and poet.
More about Ashley Bryan...
Beautiful Blackbird Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song Who Built the Stable?: A Nativity Poem Ashley Bryan's Puppets: Making Something from Everything Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry

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