Story Hour – Follow the Drinking Gourd

Join Mrs. Judie as she reads this story based on an American folksong used by the Underground Railroad. The Drinking Gourd was used as a code name for the Big Dipper star formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North. It helped fleeing slaves to find their way north from Alabama to the Ohio River to freedom.

Mrs. Judie chose this book in celebration of Black History Month.

About the book:

By Jeanette Winter

“Winter’s story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song’s directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that’s compelling. A fine rendering of history in picture book format.