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Juneteenth for Mazie

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Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history — the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.
This beautiful story by award-winning author and illustrator Floyd Cooper will captivate both children and adults.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2015

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About the author

Floyd Cooper

96 books70 followers
Floyd Cooper was an American children's book illustrator and author who focused on Black history. He received a Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in Joyce Carol Thomas' The Blacker the Berry. He also received several Coretta Scott King Honors for his illustrations.

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5 stars
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305 (37%)
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92 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews
Profile Image for Londa.
169 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2015
The cover of this book elicits a feeling of pure happiness. The story it conveys does the same. I have never read a picture book about Juneteenth, and this one was a fine start.

Mazie is a little girl who is finding her restrictions (bedtime, sweets, etc.) very bothersome. Her wise father uses this as a teaching moment.

"I can't go where I want, have what I want, or do what I want."

He explains that her great, great, great grandfather had a much tighter reign on his freedom, and how he and other slaves yearned to be free. He explained why June 19, 1865 was so important and why it is still celebrated today.

The colors Cooper uses are soft and easy and they make a great complement to happy tone of this book.

I would recommend it to anyone wanting to introduce children to Juneteenth.
Profile Image for Denice Hein.
69 reviews
April 23, 2015
1.) Text-to-world. This texts really explains why Juneteenth is celebrated in Lincoln and the United States. I think it could be used to connect to the events of today. That we have come far but have struggles still ahead. We need to celebrate the wins and keep working together for more.
2.) This books offers an historical perspective of early freed African Americans and the first celebrations of the end of the Civil War and freedom and it gives a short perspective of today’s celebrations. It also hints at all the rights that African Americans have fought for; over a few pages talked about the strive for equal education and voting.
3.)*Recalling: Where was Great-great-great-grandpa Mose when he heard the proclamation?
*Understanding: What is meant by
*Apply: What examples can you find that changes have been made that show we are closer to a united nation?
*Analyzing: What evidence from the story tells you that the proclamation did not make everyone equal, right away?
*Evaluating: What is your opinion of Maize’s rules at home (for bedtime)? What changes would you make for her or you if you were in charge?
*Creating: Design a poster to show how we should celebrate Juneteenth as a class.
Profile Image for Katie Logonauts.
173 reviews14 followers
February 3, 2015
Juneteenth for Mazie introduces the holiday of Juneteenth through the father of young Mazie. Mazie is frustrated by the end of her day and expresses a complaint common to many children, "'I can't go where I want, have what I want, or do what I want.'" Mazie's dad helps her to see her complaints in context by telling her a quick overview of US history, beginning with her Great, Great, Great, Grandpa Mose before the Civil War.

This story deals with a difficult issue and a long history in quick, deft verbal strokes and immaculately-detailed illustrations. This book works well to introduce younger children to the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, and it could also be used with older students as a launch pad for deeper discussions.

Read the full review here: http://www.thelogonauts.com/2015/02/juneteenth.html
Profile Image for nitya.
364 reviews271 followers
November 17, 2020
Wonderful story about the history of Juneteenth (which isn't an official holiday in the USA but should be) with lovely and sweet illustrations!

The last few lines were so poignant and well written.
Profile Image for Moonkiszt.
2,047 reviews212 followers
July 3, 2022
Featured in a grandma reads session.

Making sure all the kiddos (and their families) are aware and understand what hasn't been discussed much in our region of the US. So many don't know the origins of some of these holidays for which we take days off and enjoy time, but not particularly why.

Just fixing that. And making sure they know people CAN change, and they can and MUST be part of that, too.
Profile Image for Jill.
2,186 reviews80 followers
February 21, 2015
Mazie is a little girl who is always getting told “no” by her parents, which makes her grumpy. Her father tries to make her feel better by promising that the next day, she can be part of a celebration. He explains to her they will be commemorating Juneteenth Day, and tells her that this is the day the slaves in Texas got word of their freedom. They never forgot that wonderful day.

He then adds that in spite of the emancipation of slaves, things weren’t perfect, and blacks still had to protest and march in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with whites. But blacks worked hard, excelled, and accomplished much (here he shows Barak Obama taking the oath of office). And now, he says to Mazie, you will be able to participate in the remembrance.

Discussion: This book is to be commended for explaining the significance of this date in the course of the text, rather than just in end notes. But I think the storyline paints the history of blacks in America with a too-rosy brush. Given the current tension in the country over race relations, it seems a bit quixotic.

Evaluation: In spite of my slight discomfort with the way black history is presented by this story, I would still share this book with kids. I love Floyd Cooper - his illustrations are magical. I especially love the central role of a dad instead of the usual ubiquitous picture book mom. But I think if I were reading this to kids I would add some “annotations” to the text….

Rating: 3.5/5
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,358 reviews103 followers
February 5, 2015
This book starts by relating how Mazie resents keep being told, “No!” Her father then tells the story of her Great, Great, Great Grandpa Mose’s life as a slave who managed to run away to Galveston to hear the proclamation at the end of the Civil war which ended slavery in the United States. It explains why every year on June 19th, the day that has become known as Juneteenth is when the abolition of slavery and emancipation of African American citizens is commemorated throughout the United States.

The history is told in a way that children will easily relate to. The text is brought to life by superb, colourful illustrations and altogether this is a book to treasure.

The book could be used in schools in a variety of ways. With younger pupils it is a great introduction to the history of slavery . . . with older pupils it could be used as the stimulus for further research on this subject and the Civil Rights Movement. I also don’t think its use should be limited to the United States as the historical events encompassed within the book are relevant elsewhere in the world, too.

Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jillian.
2,524 reviews23 followers
March 19, 2015
The story itself is cool - it gives a very good overview of Juneteenth and what it meant at the time, as well as the current celebrations and modern meaning. The text also brings a reminder that it definitely wasn't "over" in 1865; that there is still fighting to be done before everyone is truly free.

The illustrations, though, are amazing. They add a new and fascinating layer to the text, calling out specific moments in the history of civil rights that will give you the shivers when you realize their impact.
Profile Image for Alex  Baugh.
1,954 reviews108 followers
June 19, 2015
I was pretty excited when I heard that Floyd Cooper was going to be at BEA 2015 and more excited when I found out he would be signing copies of Juneteenth for Mazie. In fact, I was so excited that I was the first person on line. What a nice man Floyd Cooper is, and what an incredible artist and writer.

Young Mazie feels that sometimes her life is full of the word no - no cookies before bedtime, no playing outside when it's dark, no staying up late. When she tells her dad that she can't do what she wants, he begins to tell her that the next day is a celebratory day. But why, Mazie wants to know.

Her dad tells it is a day called Juneteenth, a day celebrated by her family and many others because it is the day that the slaves in Texas were told they were finally free. And for Mazie, it is the day her great-great-great-grandfather Mose became a free man.

And though there was dancing in the streets on June 19, 1865, these former slaves, like the former slaves all over the country, discovered that freedom comes with a price. Yes, they were now paid for the work that they did, but black people weren't treated equally, they had to fight for jobs, schools, for every opportunity, but Black Americans have achieved great things, right up to the highest office in the country when Barack Obama was elected. And so they celebrate every year on Juneteenth. And Mazie will carry on the tradition.

Cooper's book is a great straight-forward telling of the Juneteenth story. It is given a nice personal touch by relating it to Mazis's own family (and this will no doubt encourage young readers to ask about their family history). Freedom is certainly something to celebrate, but unfortunatley, the history of Black American's freedom and equality is also such a rocky, rocky road, and Cooper includes that in his story, though he does end on an upbeat celebratory note.

This is an ideal book for introducing young readers to Juneteenth, a story not many kids outside of Texas may know about. And 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth. The Emanaipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln, went into effect in 1863, but news did not travel fast in those days and slaves and slave owners in Texas didn't hear about it until two years later, on June 19, 1865 (though in all fairness, I have to say that the reason for this delay is in contention).

As always, Cooper's story is accompanied by his beautiful oil painted illustrations, using a soft palette of browns, blues and yellows. The illustrations both enhance and extend the story being told.

It is a shame that this year's Juneteenth celebration is marred by the horrific church shooting in Charleston, SC, but it is also a reminder of the need for books like Juneteenth to educate young readers and to help in the healing process.

You can discover more about Juneteenth, HERE

This book is recommended for readers age 6+
This book was received at BEA from the publisher, Capstone Press

This review was origianlly posted on Randomly Reading
Profile Image for Suzanne.
2,093 reviews26 followers
February 15, 2015
I always enjoy Floyd Cooper's beautiful illustrations and this book is no exception. As Mazie's father explains the history of Juneteenth to her, the scenes from the past fill the pages. There is her Great Great Great Grandpa Mose working in a cotton field. Here is the crowd celebrating in the streets of Galveston as the news of emancipation is announced. Some scenes are much more recent. Her father mentions, "They marched for jobs...shouted for opportunity" and we see a crowd crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. When he says, "They excelled and accomplished" there is President Obama being sworn in. The mix of past moments leading up to the present day celebration traces over 200 years of the history of the African American people. By explaining to Mazie what she will be celebrating and why, her father also explains the tradition of Juneteenth to readers of the story.

This would make a good read-aloud to accompany a unit on Civil Rights. The way the story begins with Mazie being upset at being told, "No," and then shows how Grandpa Mose heard that word so much more during his life, makes it an easy introduction to the topic for even very young students.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Patricia Tilton.
294 reviews2 followers
July 17, 2015
Floyd Cooper’s "Juneteenth for Mazie" beautifully illustrates and celebrates a memorable day in American history. His picture book about June 19, or Juneteenth, will encourage a new generation of children to celebrate, ask questions and remember. This year will mark the 150th anniversary of that auspicious day.
This is a lovely saga about Mazie, her family and their ancestral relationship to Juneteenth. Her father narrates this touching story about Grandpa Mose who “worked in fields that stretched all the way to sunset.” He tells Mazie about her family legacy, the joy of freedom, the struggle for the right to vote, the desegregation of schools, of forgiveness, achievement and celebration.
This is a perfect book for teachers to integrate into their lesson plans. The text and writing style will encourage children to love history and want to know more about their own family histories.
Cooper’s captivating oil illustrations are in shades of warm browns and yellows and give the book a nostalgic feel. The faces of each character captures the intensity of the struggle, the joy of freedom, the determination of future generations, and celebration of milestones made.
8 reviews
March 16, 2015
As any young child, Mazie does not want to sleep at her bedtime! However, on this particular day, Mazie is reminded that tomorrow is a very important day for her and her family. Mazie’s parents remind Mazie that tomorrow is Juneteenth, the very day when Grandpa Mose walked into the world of freedom. Afterwards, her community worked extra hard to not only maintain the freedom but have equal rights through determination, love, and perseverance. Mazie is told to always be thankful and never forget.

This story entails a very thick and rich plot around slavery, segregation and equal rights. The author uses age appropriate language where children could relate. The illustrations also allow children to predict and visualize the story’s scenes, enhancing their understanding of the plot. Children are offered a clear lesson and considerations of our society. With an educational message to this particular cultural group, I would definitely recommend this book to any children in Kindergarten.
Profile Image for Aisha Oaktree.
645 reviews30 followers
June 26, 2015
As a Jamaican I had no idea what Juneteenth was about. Even though I am a Black woman in America this isn't something I learnt about in school and as my parents are immigrants they don't know about this and didn't know to teach us about this one.

I'm so happy for this book, I think it will be a great way to teach young children about this important holiday and of course a way for them to see themselves in the books we read.

The illustrations are beautiful and totally capture the images and facial expressions not just of the younger generation but also of the Elders. I really liked reading this, both to myself and aloud to several children. They were happy to see other brown and black children in another of their books.

I'm getting one for each of the little children I know and it's going to be a present for quite a few daycare classrooms near me.

A great addition to all libraries.
Profile Image for Sherrie.
1,482 reviews
September 4, 2014
I received a copy of Juneteenth for Mazie from Net Galley and Capstone Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Love the cover of this lushly illustrated picture book which features a smiling a smiling young Mazie. When Mazie becomes upset because she doesn't want to go to bed her father explains to her that although she doesn't like to hear the word no her ancestors had to hear the word quite often. He explains to Mazie the significance of the Juneteenth Celebration and how her forefathers had to remain strong in the face of adversity. This is a wonderful introduction for children into Black History. The book explains the Emancipation Proclamation and slavery in America in easy to understand terms. This book would be perfect for children aged 5-8 to help them understand this portion of history.
Profile Image for Barbara.
13.1k reviews271 followers
May 2, 2015
When Mazie is feeling disgruntled by all the things she's being told she cannot do, her father provides her with several reasons for celebrating. Her family and others will be celebrating Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day when slavery was abolished and the Civil War ended on June 19, 1865 with an announcement in Galveston, Texas. He traces the story back to Mazie's Great-great-great-grandfather Mose who was a slave and then links each succeeding generation's fight for freedom. This is a good overview of the celebration, nestled among those intricate and softly fashioned illustrations that seem to have been torn from someone's treasured photo album. It's especially noteworthy to consider how history's events affect individuals.
Profile Image for Cara Byrne.
3,151 reviews18 followers
August 20, 2015
I don't think I've picked up a single book by Floyd Cooper that I haven't loved or that hasn't brought tears to my eyes. Whether he is writing about family history, loss or heritage, his gorgeous and luminous illustrations are realistic and nostalgic simultaneously. This picture book focuses on a lesser publicized American holiday- Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19th and commemorates the day in 1865 when the end of the Civil war was announced and the abolition of slavery was officially celebrated throughout the country. By reflecting on the holiday with her father, Mazie learns about her great, great, great grandpa Moses and celebrate the achievements (and struggles) her family has faced since 1965. A gorgeous text.
Profile Image for Amber.
414 reviews15 followers
March 28, 2015
First of all this book has spectacular illustrations!
Second of all, Maize's dad helps to remind both the reader and little Maize what it is to have true Freedom. That even though she may hear the word 'no' or be told she can't have a cookie there was a time, not long ago that members of her family heard the word 'no' a lot more often, and lived a much harsher life. He tells her the story of Juneteenth and the struggles of her great great great grandpa and how she should celebrate and remember those who came before her and helped pave the way for everything she has now. A great story, reminding everyone how far we've come and that it is cause for a celebration!
Profile Image for Yoo Kyung Sung.
400 reviews4 followers
April 23, 2015
" On June 19, 1865", soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery in the United States. It was more than two years after president Lincoln's EMancipation Proclamation. Celebrated every year on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of Afriian American citizens throughout the entire US."

Generation-by-generatin celebrations on Juneteenth!. From the great great great granpa Mose crossed into liberty to now--Mazie and her family celebrate Juneteenth.

Meaningful information on continuity of historical achievements!
Profile Image for Amy Rae.
912 reviews40 followers
November 24, 2014
Fuzzy-edged, subdued illustrations--almost like peering into someone else's memory of long ago--accompany a family-based explanation of the meaning of Juneteenth. As someone who does not know much about Juneteenth, it was informative as well as pleasant to read. Cooper's warm, loving text keeps the book from feeling didactic. A short note at the end explains the holiday for those who might not know it.

NB: I received a free galley copy of Juneteenth for Mazie from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
May 1, 2015
A young girl name Mazie is told the history of her great-grandpa Moses. Mose's history was being a slave then freed, and how and why June 19th became a day of celebration.
I really like this book because of the realistic pictures, past history including current history. This book shares the struggles and accomplishments of Black Americans in the America. This would be a good story to share with elementary and middle school students during Black History month and of course, June 19th.
Profile Image for Teresa Bateman.
Author 34 books52 followers
September 28, 2015
Floyd Cooper's amazing muted and textured illustrations flow across double-page spreads as young readers get to meet Mazie. Mazie is an African-American girl and she's tired of being told what to do. She can't go outside because it's too dark. She can't stay up late when she wants too. Where's her freedom? Loving parents explain what freedom really means and tell her about the upcoming Juneteenth holiday that celebrates the freedom from slavery. This is a gentle and compelling story, beautifully presented and illustrated.
Profile Image for Meghan Nels.
411 reviews32 followers
September 7, 2014
Mazie is tired of hearing the word no. After being told no repeatedly one night, her father tells her the story of how her Great, Great, Great Grandpa Mose was told no repeatedly and how he fought for his freedom. From her father, Mazie learns the story behind Juneteenth celebrations. Colorful, endearing pictures accompanied by simple text create a picture book that will assist even the youngest readers in understanding the importance of Juneteenth.
Profile Image for Desiree.
1,119 reviews22 followers
March 25, 2015
Juneteenth for Mazie is written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Mazie is a typical kid who wants to push the boundaries of her world a little bit. She gets mad when she can't eat what she wants, go outside when she wants, or stay up as late as she wants to. Her father teachers about a time when African American men and women were also not allowed to do as they liked. He explains the Juneteenth celebration to Maizie and they celebrate together.
Profile Image for Colette.
925 reviews
April 20, 2015
Just completed testing for the day, opening mail as I was gone to TLA last week and found this little gem from one of my vendors. Sepia tones with the right amount of color, history, cries, celebration, growth, forgiveness, achievement, as well as memories. Mr. Cooper has expressed a joyous celebration for all who overcome oppression, degradation, and the evils others put upon them. Excellent book to read to the youngest children to help them understand why Juneteenth is celebrated. Well done!
217 reviews2 followers
November 3, 2014
Juneteenth for Mazie is a beautifully illustrated book for young children that describes the significance of June 19th and its commemoration of African-American's freedom from slavery. In lyrical prose, Maize learns about her history and develops pride and delight in the story of her people's fierce struggle for liberation.

Thank you to Netgalley for my review copy of this book.
706 reviews
March 13, 2015
June 19, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the day the Emancipation Proclamation made it to Texas.
The oil wash and eraser technique works really well.
Awesome images to go with the narration-- a boy's profile in a cotton field, a man and women running to the North Star, the proclamation read in TX....
Profile Image for Maddypictures.
298 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2015
Warm soft brown illustrations feature cheerful Mazie, a young African-American girl who learns about Juneteenth when the end of slavery is celebrated from her father. Scenes from slavery's cotton fields, 1960's Civil rights marches, de-segregated schools, and Obama's Presidential swearing in ceremony lead to a barbecue celebration of Juneteenth for Mazie, her friends and family.
Profile Image for Mallory.
6 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2015
I loved this book. My family started celebrating Juneteenth this year for the first time and we will continue to celebrate it every year. This is a great story of Mazie asking her family about Juneteenth and they go back in time to explain the importance of the day. This is a great book to help younger children understand the importance of June 19th for the African American community.
Profile Image for Matthew.
2,776 reviews44 followers
April 16, 2015
Excellent book that could be shared with a younger audience as well as appreciated by an older audience. It's just enough to get across the importance of the holiday without being so technical that an elementary audience might lose interest. Great job.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews

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