Happy Pink Day!
Today is the day to get out a wear a little pink. Now, there are lots of little girl ‘pink’ stories, here are several to choose from if you’re interested.
However, I’m going to go in another direction today. Below is one of Patricia Polaccco’s picture books aimed at older readers. Watch this book trailer and you’ll find out why.
Pink and Say written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco (1994)
This is true story set during the Civil War. It is a story about Sheldon Russell Curtis (Patricia Polacco’s great great grandfather) and Pinkus Aylee, both union soldiers. Sheldon, known by everybody as Say, was injured and left for dead in a Georgia field. Say was found by a black union soldier who carried him out of that field and to his home to be cared for by his mother, sweet Moe Moe Bay. The boys immediately realize they’re putting Moe Moe Bay in harms way just by being in her house. For weeks Moe Moe Bay took care of the boys, cooking for them, watching over them as they slept, and encouraging Say to walk on his injured leg every day so it wouldn’t go cripple on him. Pink talks about the poor conditions of his regiment, but he still wants to go back to help them fight the war. Say, on the other hand, doesn’t ever want to go back. As they heal, Pink talks about growing up a slave in this house. How he was taught to read by his owner, and how he knew that although he might be owned as a person, no one could ever own him. When Say admits that he doesn’t know how to read, Pink promises to teach him how to read one day. Say, who had once shaken hands with Abraham Lincoln, shook hands with Pink so that he could say that he touched the hand that once touch Lincoln’s. Say also admits that he’s afraid to go back, and that he was injured while running away. When marauders attack the house, Moe Moe Bay pushes the boys into the root cellar to hide, goes to face them alone, and gets killed in the attack. After burying Moe Moe Bay, the boys took off in search of their troops. However, they are captured by Confederate soldiers and taken to Andersonville to one of the worst camps in the south. Eventually Say was released and went home. He returned to his family, got married, and saw children and grandchildren grow up. Pink was never released. It is said that he was hanged within hours of arriving at Andersonville prison. At the end of the story Patricia Polacco encourages readers and listeners to say the name of Pinkus Aylee aloud because he has no family to remember him.