Black All Around

Overview

In this lively poetic tribute to the color black, the letters and words in a book, a limousine, a workhorse, beetles, a firefighter's boots, patent leather party shoes, piano keys, and more bring a sense of joy and wonder to a young girl. Patricia Hubbell's playful verses and Don Tate's colorful art celebrate the color black by combining seemingly unrelated objects in charming and imaginative ways.

An African American girl contemplates the many wonderful black things...

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Overview

In this lively poetic tribute to the color black, the letters and words in a book, a limousine, a workhorse, beetles, a firefighter's boots, patent leather party shoes, piano keys, and more bring a sense of joy and wonder to a young girl. Patricia Hubbell's playful verses and Don Tate's colorful art celebrate the color black by combining seemingly unrelated objects in charming and imaginative ways.

An African American girl contemplates the many wonderful black things around her, from the inside of a pocket, where surprises hide, to the cozy night where there is no light.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Relayed through the perspective of an African-American girl, Hubbell's (Bouncing Time) slim poem celebrates "the wonderful color black." Verse and pictures introduce an array of black items ranging from the tangible ("A big workhorse./ Some cats, of course./ Glossy beetles./ Busy ants./ The clothes men wear to a fancy dance") to the ethereal ("Like the back of a dream of stars and moon/ that floats through your head on an afternoon/ when you take a nap in a big old chair") to the personal ("Velvet soft./ Satin sleek./ Daddy's arm./ Momma's cheek"). The black objects stand out sharply against Tate's (Summer Sun Risin') brassy palette. In addition to the high-voltage colors, Tate also stylizes his perspectives and his figures. Heads are outsize, almost as large as the torsos, and the eyes are so wide apart as to triangulate each face. The artist does a good job varying the settings, supplying both fantasy and homelike backdrops that incorporate the images from the text. The closing pages show the girl cozy in her bed, with many of the aforementioned items wafting through her dreams. Ages 3-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Black is a universal symbol for negativity. It is, therefore, refreshing to read a book that displays black as a beautiful and an important color. An African American girl explores the many positive places and objects that the reader can find the color black. Some of the objects that she mentions are obvious, like a cozy night or a firefighter's boots. She also points out some of the not-so-obvious places that contain black, like a mole's hole or a crack in the wall. Readers discover with the girl that the beautiful color black is needed to complete the world, for black is everywhere. Occasionally, the text looses its rhythm. When the rhythm fails the reader, the eye-catching illustrations prompt the reader to continue. Tate's beautiful acrylic illustrations accurately display the narrator's discovery of black. The softness of his black strokes are complemented with bright contrasting colors to make vibrant double-page spreads. Readers will have a better appreciation for the color black after reading this book. 2003, Lee & Low Books Inc,
— Jackie Kirby
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Exuberant acrylic paintings keep the pages turning in this African-American girl's imaginative ode to the color black. In both rhyming and free-form verses, she reflects on the many wondrous black objects in her world: "Crayons./Crickets./The bottom of the sea./The empty place where a tooth should be." The double-page illustrations combine imaginary scenes with more realistic moments, and show the child interacting with her brother and her parents. The storytime crowd will enjoy the dreamy artwork and playful text. The heroine's peaceful slumber at the story's end also makes for a comforting bedtime read. A satisfying addition.-Ajoke' T. I. Kokodoko, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This earnest story told in rhyme focuses on things that are black in color, as seen through the eyes of a little African-American girl. Hubbell (Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!, 2003, etc.) provides a disparate collection of items (a limousine, black cats, crickets) and concepts (the inside of a pocket, the night sky, "the empty place where a tooth should be") that are black (or dark brown) in color. The cheerfully celebratory concept of black as a "sleek and jazzy, warm and cozy" color is a bit forced, and the rhyme scheme is not consistent throughout the volume, causing a rather jarring effect when the text is read aloud. Due to the demands of the rhyming word pairs, many items are in juxtaposition that have no logical relationship to each other or to the child narrator, but Tate (Summer Sun Risin', 2002, etc.) creatively solves these design challenges with his illustrations. His acrylic paintings flow across double-page spreads, filled with swirling lines, varied perspectives, and neon bright shades to balance out the black items under discussion. The little girl's family is also included in the illustrations, with a smiling dad who looks quite a bit like the illustrator's photo on the back flap. The author's rhymes try hard to make black an intriguing, special shade, but it is Tate's vibrant art that pulls the concept together. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584300489
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.18 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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