My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

As a young boy growing up in North Carolina, Romare Bearden listened to his great-grandmother’s Cherokee stories and heard the whistle of the train that took his people to the North - people who wanted to be free. When Romare boarded that same train, he watched out the window as the world whizzed by. Later he captured those scenes in a famous painting, Watching the Good Trains Go By.

Using that painting as inspiration and creating a text influenced by the jazz that Bearden loved, Jeanne Walker Harvey describes the patchwork of daily southern life that Romare saw out the train’s window and the story of his arrival in shimmering New York City.

September 2011

Marshall Cavendish (now Two Lions)

Ages 5-8

ISBN 978-0-7614-5810-4

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey

"Newcomer Zunon's illustrations combine folk-style portraits of Bearden's family with flat collage elements as Harvey recounts the Bearden's family movie north during the Great Migration." - Publishers Weekly


- Awards for My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

The Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award 2013: Arts and Letters, Artist Biography

Moonbeam Children's Book Award 2012, Gold Medal: Picture Books All Ages

New York Public Library's Best Books to Read and Share 2011: Picture Book category






All Images Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Zunon