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Janna and the Kings

Janna and the Kings (hc)

By Patricia Smith

Illustrated by Aaron Boyd


Saturdays are special for Janna. That's when she and Granddaddy spend the whole day together.

Walking down the street with Granddaddy is like strolling through a kingdom with a king. He knows everyone and everyone knows him. Best of all, Granddaddy and Janna always head for her favorite place in the world — Terrell's barbershop. There, Granddaddy and his friends are kings in barber chair thrones, and Janna is a princess, showered with love and attention.

One day Granddaddy passes away, and Janna feels she has lost their wonderful kingdom forever. But with great courage and some unexpected help, Janna finds her way back to the happiness of those special Saturdays.

Winner of LEE & LOW's New Voices Award, Janna and the Kings is a moving story of love and rediscovery, and a celebration of the enduring bond between grandchild and grandparent.

Booktalk with author Patricia Smith

Best Books About Real Life
Family Fun Magazine

Honor Book
Society of School Librarians International

Children's Book Award Notable
International Reading Association

Interest Level
Grades 1 - 4
Reading Level
Grade 3
African/African American Interest, Coping with Death, Grandparents
Accelerated Reader
Level: 4.5
Points: .5
About the Creators

Patricia Smith was inspired to write JANNA AND THE KINGS by childhood memories of Saturdays spent at the barbershop with her father. Smith is an award-winning journalist, playwright, and performer, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam. She also authored the companion book to the critically acclaimed PBS documentary "Africans in America." Smith lives in Tarrytown, New York. Janna and the Kings is her first picture book.

Aaron Boyd made his picture book debut with Babu's Song. He has illustrated a number of works for the educational and children's magazine markets, including two books for LEE & LOW's Bebop Books imprint. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was born. Visit him online at ab illustration.

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