Book Review: Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend
Title: Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend
Author: Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud
Illustrations: John Holyfield
Publisher: Candlewick Press
People can be famous and everyone might even hear about them from watching tv, listening to the radio or by word of mouth. But, what about others who have helped in very special ways. How do we hear their stories? And, who would have thought that a mule could be so quietly famous?
Alex and his mother are shopping at Gee's Bend for one of their famous quilts. These quilts saved the small community from hard times once upon a time not that long ago. Alex sat beside an elderly woman while waiting for his mother. They watched a mule across the road, eating collard greens from a garden. Little did Alex know that the old mule, named Belle, was famous. Alex embarked on a journey while sitting next to Ms. Pettway as she told the story of Belle. He learned about Dr. King, his march for freedom and how quilters saved Gee's Bend. Not only that, he learned the amazing story of Belle the mule. Can you guess how she might have become famous?
Beautiful paintings depict a very special time in African American history. The true story of Belle the mule is warm and touching. Young readers can embrace this bit of history and learn a little more about Dr. King and his fight for freedom. Parents and teachers can utilize this tool to teach, history, tolerance and how animals can play a huge role in our lives.