Parker, Toni Trent 1947-

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PARKER, Toni Trent 1947-


PERSONAL: Born July 10, 1947, in Winston-Salem, NC; daughter of William J., Jr. (an executive director of the United Negro College Fund) and Viola Scales (a homemaker) Trent; married Barrington D. Parker, Jr. (a federal judge); children: Christine, Kathleen, Jennifer. Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1970; University of California—Berkeley, graduate studies in African-American history. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Black Books Galore! 65 High Ridge Rd., Stamford, CT 06905. E-mail— [email protected]


CAREER: Writer. Black Books Galore! Stamford, CT, cofounder, 1993—. Publisher of Blackberry Express, a quarterly newsletter about African-American children's books. Formerly worked for Phelps-Stokes Fund, New York, NY.

AWARDS, HONORS: Parenting Leaders Award, Parents magazine, 1998; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award nominee in children's literature category, for Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books.


WRITINGS:


for children


Hugs and Hearts, illustrated with photographs by Earl Anderson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies, illustrated with photographs by Earl Anderson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Sweets and Treats, illustrated with photographs by Earl Anderson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Snowflake Kisses and Gingerbread Smiles, illustrated with photographs by Earl Anderson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Being Me: A Keepsake Scrapbook for African-American Girls, illustrated by Meryl Treatner, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.



other


(Compiler) Annotated Bibliography of Books, Reports, and Papers Published, Written, or Sponsored by the Phelps-Stokes Fund, Phelps-Stokes Fund (New York, NY), 1976.

(With Donna Rand and Sheila Foster) Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Donna Rand) Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Donna Rand) Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Donna Rand) Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African-American Children's Books, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY), 2001.


SIDELIGHTS: Toni Trent Parker and her coauthors have provided an invaluable service, according to critics, providing parents, teachers, and librarians a series of reference books listing, describing, and recommending children's books about prominent African Americans. Beginning with Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books, and continuing with Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys and Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls, Parker and two women she met in a children's play group put together the materials they had gathered for their own benefit when seeking out children's books about notable African Americans. In their introduction to these volumes, the authors stipulate that they are not children's literature experts or librarians but concerned parents looking to help others fill a gap they themselves had felt. The response from reviewers, however, has emphasized the utility of these volumes for those who work with, as well as live with, children. "Their choices and comments seem quite well made, and 'professionals' as well as parents should find the book quite helpful," remarked Phyllis Holman Weisbard in a review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls in Feminist Collections.


The volumes present lists of recommended titles divided by age-level of audience; a listing by subject matter is included in an index. Each entry includes relevant bibliographic information as well as a description of the book; these are "lively and informative," according to Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman in a review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls. Sprinkled throughout the volumes are helpful bits of information about specific titles. Quotes from books, book covers, anecdotes from authors and illustrators, and first-person recommendations round out the additional offerings in these volumes. In a review of the two-volume set, which separates books for boys and girls, "the authors . . . have compiled two fantastic new resources for children, young adults, parents and educators," wrote Khafre K. Abif in Black Issues Book Review.


Sensing another gap in literature for youngsters, Parker set about writing a series of picture books for toddlers featuring African-American children. Illustrated with photographs by Earl Anderson and narrated with simply-worded lyrics, Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies—about Easter, Hugs and Hearts—about Valentine's Day, Sweets and Treats—about Halloween, and Snowflake Kisses and Gingerbread Smiles—about Christmas, are considered by reviewers to be charming additions to the youngest children's bookshelves.

Parker told CA: "I started out as a bookseller, specializing in African-American children's books. I organize African-American children's book festivals. And then I noticed there were no toddler books for the holidays featuring cute black children, so I wrote, and Scholastic published!"


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


periodicals


Black Enterprise, February, 1999, Sonja Brown Stokely, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books p. 211.

Black Issues Book Review, July, 2001, Khafre K. Abif, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls and Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys, p. 73.

Booklist, December 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls, p. 830.

Ebony, April, 2001, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls and Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys, p. 16.

Feminist Collections, winter, 2002, Phyllis Holman Weisbard, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls, p. 24.

Living in Stamford, November-December, 2000, Abby West, "Black Books Galore! Works to Expand Children's Literary Horizons One Book at a Time," pp. 81-82.

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 2002, Lucia Herndon, "Mothers Created a Special Book Fair."

Publishers Weekly, January 1, 2001, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Girls and Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys, p. 94; December 3, 2001, review of Hugs and Hearts, p. 62; December 24, 2001, review of Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies, p. 66.

School Library Journal, September, 1999, Marie Wright, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books, p. 249; March, 2001, Eunice Weech, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books about Boys, p. 289; May, 2002, Mary Lankford, review of Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African-American Children's Books, p. 183; September, 2002, Be Astengo, review of Sweets and Treats, p. 204; October, 2002, Linda Israelson, review of Snowflake Kisses and Gingerbread Smiles, p. 62.

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