BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 2: Pink and Say

February 2 – Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Genre: Non-Fiction. Oral History

Biography: Pinkus Aylee – Hero, enslaved man and soldier in Georgia, US. About 1840 – 1861

Historical Time Period: Civil War.

Geographical Relevance: Georgia.

Authenticity: The author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, is the great great granddaughter of ‘Say’. Say is the man that Pinkus Aylee rescues from the hands of Confederate soldiers. The true story of Pinkus’ bravery has been orally passed down through Polacco’s family.

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco Originally published by Philomel 1994

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Originally published by Philomel 1994

Author Patricia Polacco

Author Patricia Polacco

The book is potentially quite powerful in teaching children about white privilege. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it in the classroom  yet. Up until recently, I’ve taught Kindergarten and first grade, and I don’t find it appropriate for the early childhood classroom, as it is quite sad and gruesome in parts. I aim to incorporate it into the curriculum of my new third grade class, that I begin teaching tomorrow.

The Picture Book Pusher

A Picture Book A Day: Day 12 Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco


Pink and Say Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Published: Philomel Books, Penguin Young Readers Group, NY. for Babushka, Inc. 1994

I borrowed this book from the South End branch of Boston Public Library. The librarian recommended it to me. She said it was a must read. She was correct.


This is a necessary piece of non-fiction for any age classroom. Although I have to be wise on how I present it to my young audience. It has a couple of gruesome deaths in it. I look forward to using it to raise consciousness in my young students on the concepts of  ‘privilege’ and ‘social blindness’, and ‘oppression’. I shall blog in depth at a later date. I look forward to adding main character Pinkus to my American History curriculum, so my students “will always remember Pinkus Aylee.”

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher