Lullaby (for a Black Mother

Lullaby (for a Black Mother

By Langston Hughes; Sean Qualls (Illustrator)

Harcourt Brace and Company, Hardcover, 9780547362656, 32pp.

Publication Date: March 2013


My little dark baby, / My little earth-thing, / My little love-one, / What shall I sing / For your lullaby?" With a few simple words as smooth as a song, the poet Langston Hughes celebrates the love between an African American mother and her baby. The award-winning illustrator Sean Qualls's painted and collaged artwork captures universally powerful maternal moments with tenderness and whimsy. In the end, readers will find a rare photo of baby Hughes and his mother, a biographical note, further reading, and the complete lullaby. Like little love-ones, this beautiful book is a treasure.

About the Author
Evelyn Louise Crawford, a retired arts administrator and consultant, andMaryLouise Patterson, a pediatrician in clinical practice, are the daughters of Langston Hughes s cherished friends Evelyn Graves Crawford, Matt N. Crawford, Louise Thompson Patterson, and William L. Patterson. Hughes was a frequent guest in the homes of the two families and was like an uncle to both girls.

Sean Qualls received a Coretta Scott King Honor award for his illustrations in Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, and has published many other acclaimed books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family. Visit his website at

Praise For Lullaby (for a Black Mother

"Hughes' classic lullaby gets a loving lift with Quall's graceful artwork."

"A wonderful celebration of both love and poetry."
School Library Journal

"A quiet but welcome introduction to the writer's work for the very young."
Publishers Weekly