As a poet, [Dunbar] used both voices to splendid effect. Derby uses her “grandma voice” equally well, evoking the spirit of Dunbar’s work and humanizing the man behind his poems, many of which are integrated with the text. She is quick to acknowledge the occasional surmise, but her story has the ring of truth, nicely enhanced by Qualls’ expressionist drawings. Jump back, reader, here’s a biography to remember.
—Booklist (starred review)
The author is...quite respectful toward this beloved black poet.
This will be an engaging introduction to one of the lesser-known greats, especially if paired with recorded readings of his poetry to bring out its music.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Derby writes an engaging biography, oftentimes with interesting personal spins on Dunbar’s life and poetry. This book is a terrific introduction, and gives the reader the opportunity to learn more about African-American history, and the struggles that African-Americans faced.
—School Library Connection