The People Could Fly: The Picture Book

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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
The People Could Fly The Picture Book.jpg
AuthorVirginia Hamilton
IllustratorLeo and Diane Dillon
CountryUnited States
SubjectChildren's literature, Picture book, Slavery in the United States, Folklore
Published2004 (Knopf)
Media typePrint (hardback, paperback)
Pages32 (unpaginated)

The People Could Fly: The Picture Book is a 2004 picture book by Virginia Hamilton and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. It is a reissue, by the Dillons, of Hamilton's title story of her 1985 book The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales and is about a group of African-American slaves who call upon old magic to escape their oppression by flying away.


Booklist, reviewing The People Could Fly, noted "Leo and Diane Dillons' illustrations for the collection were in black and white, but the art here is beautiful full color, in the style of the cover of the collection. The large paintings are magic realism at its finest.." and concluded "This special picture-book story will be told and retold everywhere."[1] The School Library Journal, in a starred review, wrote "The Dillons add much to savor in this elegant picture-book rendering. .. The book is a lovely tribute to Hamilton."[1]

The People Could Fly has also been reviewed by Publishers Weekly,[2] and Kirkus Reviews.[3]

It was awarded a 2005 Coretta Scott King Award illustrator honor,[4] and was a 2005 CCBC Choices book.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The people could fly : the picture book". Retrieved April 19, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (starred review)". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. November 22, 2004. Retrieved April 19, 2017. Making dramatic use of shadow and light, Leo and Diane Dillon (whose half-tone illustrations also graced the original volume) ably convey the tale's simultaneous messages of oppression and freedom, of sadness and hope. .. Art and language that are each, in turn, lyrical and hard-hitting make an ideal pairing in this elegant volume that gracefully showcases the talent of its creators. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (starred review)". Kirkus Media LLC. November 1, 2004. Retrieved April 19, 2017. Like the story, the paintings are both hopeful and somber, and the slaves are as graceful and softly luminous as the slave owners are stiff, pinched, and cruel. A dreamy, powerful picture-book tribute to both Hamilton and the generations-old story. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Coretta Scott King Book Awards - All Recipients, 1970-Present". American Library Association. Retrieved April 19, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Kathleen T. Horning, Merri V. Lindgren, Hollis Rudiger, Megan Schliesman (2004). CCBC Choices 2005: Folklore, Mythology, and Traditional Literature (PDF). Friends of the CCBC Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2017. Leo and Diane Dillon's luminous gold-toned illustrations beautifully express their dreams of liberation and freedom. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)