Nina by Alice Brière-Haquet


A stunning picture-book biography of the High Priestess of Soul and one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.With evocative black-and-white illustrations and moving prose, readers are introduced to Nina Simone, jazz-music legend and civil-rights activist. Shared as a lullaby to her daughter, a soulful song recounts Simone's career, the trials she faced as an African American woman, and the stand she took during the Civil Rights Movement. Th...

Details Nina

Release DateNov 28th, 2017
PublisherCharlesbridge Publishing
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Biography, Music, Nonfiction, Cultural, African American, Art

Reviews Nina

  • Beth
    This book took my breath away and made my hair stand on end. The text is absolutely like nothing I've ever read before in a picture book and the illustrations were equally as powerful as the text. This book will be on my list of go-to picture books to give to Middle and high school teachers to show them that picture books are not just for little kids. In fact, some of them, like this one, are for much older and more mature readers. If you're an a...
  • Donalyn
    I wish there was an author's note explaining more about Nina Simone's life. Hard for kids to walk away with a richer understanding of who she was and her contributions.
  • Dawn
    Nina Simone was a classically trained pianist & vocalist who turned to jazz music when she was unable to make a career as a classical musician due to her race. She used her music as a medium for activism and proved to be an incredibly resilient & talented woman. This beautiful biography takes the reader through her story, highlighting the themes that music is for all people and even the best dreams need taking care of.
  • Amy
    Beautiful illustrations and important. However, there didn't seem to be enough information for me to consider this a true biography. You really couldn't use this as a source for a biography report on Nina Simone.
  • Brenda Kahn
    A biography which is an autobiography framed as a bed-time story. Lyrical and powerful imagery. Gorgeously illustrated. I had high hopes to add this to my picture book biography unit, but lack of backmatter or further details about the subject's life will limit its use for this project. It is a lovely book though.
  • Earl
    Framed as a lullaby, this lyrical biography of musician and activist evokes powerful images. I would have appreciated back matter to flesh things out because I did feel it ended abruptly.
  • Rosemary
    She is a legend in music and civil rights history. Author Alice Brière-Haquet and illustrator Bruno Liance introduce Nina Simone to new audiences with this beautifully written and illustrated book. Written as a story to Simone's daughter, who's having trouble falling asleep, Alice Brière-Haquet weaves a tale of achievement in the face of racism, using stunning imagery: the 52 white teeth "trapping" the 36 black teeth in the keyboard, and the wh...
  • Heidi
    This is a book filled with symbolism and imagery. While that makes for a beautiful book, it also makes it confusing for younger readers, which is why I would recommend this book for older children. It would even make a great addition to units on the Civil Rights movement, that continues today. The book starts with Nina, a mother, singing a lullaby to her own child, and telling the story (very briefly) of some of her early experiences with music a...
  • Jason Hood
    This beautiful biography of Nina Simone weaves an evening lullaby and moments from the Civil Rights movement into a message of hope. With black and white illustrations, seemingly inspired by the keys of a piano, illustrate the systemic nature of racism. “‘The white keys are whole notes and the black keys are flats, or half notes,’ my teacher explained. I asked why. ‘Because that’s just the way it is.’ Yes that’s the way it was. Whit...
  • Amanda Sanders
    "Nina" tells the story of a young musician who stood up for herself during her 12-year-old church performance. Apparently, she went on to become a civil rights activist, but the story does not go into any more detail of her life and there is no section at the back of the book to tell more and recommend more books on the subject. I like when non fiction that barely skims the surface of a subject gives more details at the back of a book.