On Her Wings: The Story of Toni Morrison

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Sept. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534478527.
Gr 2-5–Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford. At an early age she fell in love with words, melodies, stories, and the rhythm and rhyme of music. She went on to Howard University, where she changed her name to Toni because it was easier to pronounce. She eventually taught at Cornell and at her alma mater. There she met and married her husband. Soon after the birth of her second son, Morrison’s marriage failed, and she moved to New York City for a fresh start as an editor. During the day she edited others’ work; at night, after her children went to bed, she would write her own. At age 39, she published her first novel. Though the world knew her as Toni Morrison, she insisted that Chloe Wofford was the one who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Black woman to do so. Her books often focused on Black history and motherhood, race, and skin color, and she sought to empower her people. Her stories inspired others to do the same. This lyrical biography about Morrison’s accomplishments and legacy has a reverential tone, putting the groundbreaking author on a well-deserved pedestal. This title honors her memory and the sheer enormity of her life’s work. A perfect complement, Ransome’s painterly illustrations—done in watercolor and collage—shine with a beatific light. Remarks about her books and Morrison herself float in the background. Back matter includes an author’s note, further reading, and a selected list of her awards and books published.
VERDICT An awe-inspiring picture book biography about an outstanding storyteller.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing