Black and White

( 22 )

Overview

Four stories are told simultaneously, with each double-page spread divided into quadrants. The stories do not necessarily take place at the same moment in time, but are they really one story? "This work engages another side of the mind. It's a story; it's a puzzle; it's a game . . . Macaulay refuses to be confined by the conventions of the picture book." -- Booklist, starred review

Four brief "stories" about parents, trains, and cows, or is it really all one story? ...

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Black and White

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Overview

Four stories are told simultaneously, with each double-page spread divided into quadrants. The stories do not necessarily take place at the same moment in time, but are they really one story? "This work engages another side of the mind. It's a story; it's a puzzle; it's a game . . . Macaulay refuses to be confined by the conventions of the picture book." -- Booklist, starred review

Four brief "stories" about parents, trains, and cows, or is it really all one story? The author recommends careful inspection of words and pictures to both minimize and enhance confusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At first glance, this is a collection of four unrelated stories, each occupying a quarter of every two-page spread, and each a slight enough tale to seem barely worth a book--a boy on a train, parents in a funny mood, a convict's escape and a late commuter train. The magic of Black and White comes not from each story, however, but from the mysterious interactions between them that creates a fifth story. Several motifs linking the tales are immediately apparent, such as trains--real and toy--and newspapers. A second or third reading reveals suggestions of the title theme: Holstein cows, prison uniform stripes. Eventually, the stories begin to merge into a surrealistic tale spanning several levels of reality, e.g.: Are characters in one story traveling on the toy train in another? Answers are never provided--this is not a mystery or puzzle book. Instead, Black and White challenges the reader to use text and pictures in unexpected ways. Although the novelty will wear off quickly for adults, no other writer for adults or children explores this unusual territory the way Macaulay does. All ages. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly
"The magic of Black and White comes not from each [of the four stories], but from the mysterious interactions between them that creates a fifth story," said PW of this Caldecott Medal-winner. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This work engages another side of the mind. It's a story; it's a puzzle; it's a game . . . Macaulay refuses to be confined by the conventions of the picture book." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618636877
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 131,290
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.81 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given 'to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.' Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Jonathan i hi me here

    Hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    black and white

    Ilike the book because black and white are rely funy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Black And White

    David Macaulay was born Dec. 2, 1946 in England. At age eleven he and his parents moved to New Jersey. Among his many publications is Black And White. This book is very confusing when you try to read it. There are four stories in one book. There is a story about a boy on a train ride called ¿Seeing Things¿. The second is ¿A Waiting Game¿ a story about people on a platform waiting for the train to come. The third story is ¿Problem Parents¿ about a family and their daily routine. Finally there is the story ¿Udder Problems¿, a story about Holstein cows. Even though four separate stories they do tie together. The train that the boy is on is coming in to the platform where the people are waiting. On this train is the father of the family, and the cows get on the tracks and delay the train. The pictures in this book are very attractive. They tend to separate the stories and make them easier to understand. Macaulay, David. Black And White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Reading Level: 3.4

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Black and White

    Black and White is a 1991 Caldecott award winner! However I did not really enjoy his book because I found it hard to follow! It jumped between telling three different stories for ex. The first story a little boy is riding a train, the second its about parents and two brothers, and the third is about cattle! I think that 4th grade could read it but i dont think anyone could understand it!Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Black & White Review

    Caldecott Book Title: Black and White Reading Level: Third Grade Genre: Fiction About the Author: Since the publication of is first book, Cathedral, a Caldecott Honor recipient, David Macaulay has acquired international acclaim. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and he has been honored with countless awards, including a medal from the American Institute of Architects for being ¿an outstanding illustrator and recorder of architectural accomplishments.¿ His most recent book, The Way Things Work, is a New York Times best seller. Book Review: Black and White is a book that contains a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. In these stories, there is a train, there is a boy returning to his parents, and there are commuters waiting impatiently. ¿It is a boy¿s first trip alone. He can hardly wait to see his parents again.¿ There are some strange parents, indeed. The boy encounters weird parents dressed up in newspapers singing ¿She¿ll be coming `round the mountain when she comes.¿ ¿I mean, you expect parents to be weird, but this was scary.¿ Then there are the Holstein cows that, when they get out of their field, are almost impossible to find. ¿Ask any farmer. It¿s a nightmare. But it happens.¿ In this book, the reader will be entertained and challenged by the intermingling of the episodes. I personally would not recommend this book and I found it confusing. Bibliographic Information: Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    not the best book and a little crazy

    Machaulay, David Black and White, published in October 2005 Macaulay was born in Burton-on-Trent, Lancashire, England, on 2 December 1945, son of James and Joan Lowe Macaulay. His books provide an excellent example of the fact that childhood experiences, interests, memories, and associations come to the surface in adult years and have a significant impact upon creative performance. Macaulay won the prestigious award for his intriguing work, Black and White, which tells four stories simultaneously and compels readers to look closely at what is going on within the illustrations. Macaulay, however, is best known for his nonfiction works that teach children about the wonders of architecture from past and present ages. This book was about 4 divergent stories. That related in some way. However I fount this book difficult to read.There was suppose to be a relation between the four stories however the only relation that I could see was newspapers. In two stories people were wearing them. In one a boy caught pieces on them and in another the colors were black and white, cow and a robber. I guess that is the relation¿. The colors back and white. However I think it would be confusing for a child to read. They would not be able to fallow the story and enjoy it. I think they would get aggravated and confused with it and lose interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    Mingled Colors

    I was not at all impressed with Black and White. I have always heard the term, 'seeing things in black or white.' Otherwise, seeing things one way or the other. This book is not like that whatsoever. It is a book that is broken down into four stories that occur at the same time but each has a different setting. Sort of like a movie that has a flash of different scenes that are occuring at the same moment. I think it would be difficult for a child to read this story without having some confusion. I had to reread the story to realize what type of concept the author had. It was a cute story, but like I say, children may be confused. I was really surprised that the author won a Caldecott Medal for this work. Apparently it was based completely on the illustrations. However, according to the Caldecott criteria, it states that the text should not take away from the book. The text definitely took away and proved to be confusing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    great book

    Shawna Wyatt Book Review Black and White Authored By: David Macaulay This book has four odd stories in the book going on at once. This book kind of confused me at first but after reading the book and thinking about it, I realized it really resembles true life. In real life we have lots of things going on at once. This book would be a book for an advanced reader in an upper elementary school class. David Macaulay was born December 2, 1946. He was 1 when his parents moved from England to New Jersey. When in the Untied States he began to draw seriously. He studied his craft at Rhode Island School of Design.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    Black and White Review

    This Caldecott Medal Award winner is absolutely amazing and one of a kind. This book is guaranteed to capture the reader¿s attention from the very second it is opened until its finished. This book is very unique because it has four different stories in one book. In fact, the beginning of each story is on the first two pages, two stories on one page and two stories on the next and so on. The author warns the reader that it may be four different stories or it may just be one, and the reader would have to cautiously inspect the words and illustrations. The author immediately catches the audience and readers attention by getting them to pay close attention to both words and illustrations to see if they can figure out if its one story or four. The book has very extraordinary and notable illustrations which have different appearances for each story. Although the stories are all fantastically well written, they may be a little difficult for some readers to keep up with. The appropriate audience for this book is third through fifth grade. The extremely talented author and illustrator of this book is David Macaulay. David has written numerous other books some of which have been translated into twelve languages. Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    black and white

    Black and White is a Caldecott award book. This book is very different. It may be more than one story or if you think about it, it may just be one. A little boy is on a train going back home to see his parents on his ride home the train encounters a problem. ¿The conductor announces that something is blocking the tracks.¿ The little boy looks out the window. How many stories does this book have going on at the same time. This book would be good for grades 4-8. This book was okay. I had a hard time reading it because so many things were happening at once. I think it would also be hard for children to read. This book is a fantasy book. This book was written by David Macaulay. His books have been translated into a dozen different languages. He has recieved many awards. He has written many book, such as, The Way, Mill, and Castle. Macaulay, Donald. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Review for class

    This book comes with a warning! If you want to know what it is you'll have to read the book 'Black and White' by David Macaulay. This book has four stories which eventually end up coming together after several different adventures. One story is about a boy's 'first trip alone.' Another story include some cows who, 'if they ever get out of the field, they're almost impossible to find.' This is a great story for children ages 8 to 10. The author of the story, David Macaulay has sold over two million copies of his books in the United States alone, and originally received a Bachelor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design! Macaulay, David. Black and White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Black and White

    Warning! This book can get pretty crazy! David Macauley appears to use different stories all at one time in this book, or is it all just one story with different parts? Kids will really enjoy trying to piece together the stories of crazy parents, a train ride home, escaping cattle, and a train stop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2006

    A fantasy puzzle book, with more than one story

    Black and White, by David Macaulay, is not one story but 4. Reader's are left to deceipher the stories and view how they are intertwined. Reader's are able to figure the stories out or create their own. That is why the theme of the book, is things aren't always what they seem. The stories are divided up into different sections, Seeing Things, A Waiting Game, Problem Parents, and Udder Chaos. Each of the stories are completely seperate, or are they? The book describes everything from a child on a train ride, quirky parents wearing newspapers, a train station, and Holstein cows that are good for camouflage. A good book for grades K-3. David Macaulay, the author/illustrator not only used words, but what really told the story was his pictures. The detail and action in each portion are what really tells the story. David was born Dec. 2, 1946, in Lancashire, England. At age 11, he and his family moved to Bloomfield, New Jersey. It was at this time that he began to draw. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where he received a BA in architecture. In his fifth year at RISD, he joined the honors program where he was able to study in Rome, Herculaneum, and Pompeii. Since then Macaulay has received numerous awards, sold millions of books, and his books have been translated into a dozen of languages. The book, Black and White won the Caldecott Award in 1991. Reading the book, I found it very interesting. Even though I had to read it a dozen times. The pictures were amazing, and even the story. Never in one child's book, could you imagine reading 4 different stories. I like this book mainly because it was different, stays on your mind, and forces you to think. There are not that many books that do that. Macaulay, David. Black and White. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Its all in Black and White.

    Is it one story or four stories? Do the stories go together or are they separate and have nothing in common. The author David Maccaulay lets the reader decide. The one thing the reader does discover is there is a boy traveling on a train, there are commuters waiting for a train, there are cows blocking a train, and then there are some really odd parents. Everything is there for the reader in black and white. Not just the newspapers and the Holstein cows, but the stories. However, there is a warning with this book, ¿WARNING. This book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. Then again, it may contain only one story. In any event, careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended.¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2006

    Caldecott Winner Black and White

    Have you every wanted to read a book buy couldn¿t decide which one to read? If so this book by David Macaulay is just the book for you. At first glance, I thought the book was simply a jumbled mess. I couldn¿t understand a word of it buy as I read on I came to the realization that each story made up the next. After reading through this book twice, I really enjoyed it. I read this book with my nephew and I loved that fact that it challenged his mind and made him think about the book, instead of just sitting and listening to the words. He especially liked the part in the story ¿Udder Chaos¿ where the author states, ¿The worst think about Holstein cows is that if ever they get out of the field, they¿re almost impossible to find.¿ This book is set on a 3rd grade level. As I said the book is written by David Macaulay, who was born in Lancashire, England in 1946. He went to the Rhode Island School of Design where he is know a faculty member. Macaulay, David. Black and White. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Is it four stories or just one?

    This is an ingenious book by David Macauley which will leave the reader guessing right until the end and beyond. In this work, the author utilizes a unique literary device in plot development. This book actually contains four stories which are all interwoven to tell one story. There is a boy returning to his parents by train, a heard of Holstein cows, a group of commuters waiting on a railway platform, and weird parents who dress up in newspapers. The actual events of the story are open to many interpretations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Cooper's Review

    This book is a great book for kids to read by themselves. It's a series of seemingly four separate, odd stories (two stories on each page). One story is about a boy on a train, the other about kids and their parents' routine, the third is about passengers waiting for a train, and the fourth is about Holstein cows. They're all very odd stories the parents come home wearing newspaper, Holstein cows are difficult to see, and there are pieces of newspaper flying in the air like snow. This 1991 Caldecott Medal book is for ages 7-10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2006

    Good Book!

    The author of this book David Macaulay went to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), from which he received a bachelor's degree in architecture. He published his first book, Cathedral in 1973. His books have sold more than two million copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. This book theme is about three different stories that end up relating to one another in the end of the story. This book starts out with three stories one is about Seeing Thing, A Waiting Game and the Udder Chaos. Each story starts out tell about the normal lives of the people, families and the cows. Then the stories start to connect by the use of newspaper. First the people waiting for the train at the station are reading newspapers, the boy on the train sees what he thinks is snowflakes, and the family is wearing newspaper as costumes, and the cows have become very hard to see in the dark. The mother and father of the family have been at the train station waiting on their boy on the train. When the people at the station got bored and starting singing and dance dressed in newspaper. The way all the stories connect is the boy on the train is the family¿s son, people waiting dress in newspaper, and the cows are found. I found this book a little hard to keep up with personally, but it is a great book and very exciting. I would recommend third grade to fifth grade readers to give this book a try. The genre of this book is fantasy and it was a joy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    A must read fantasy for all ages!

    Macaulay, David. Black and White. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company 1990. The Caldecott Medal winning story Black and White is an adventure for any reader. It is four stories intertwined into one. In ¿Udder Chaos¿ the illustrations of cows transform on each page, causing the reader to question what will happen next. In the story, ¿Seeing Things¿ a young boy takes his first train trip. As he looks out the window of the stopped train, the boy ¿rubs his eyes again and again but can¿t believe what he sees. The boulders are moving.¿ What he really sees is what links one story to the other. This story was, at first glance, just a jumbled, mixed up mess. Upon attempting to decipher the story, the reader finds an intricately woven thread of an amazingly fun tale throughout this book. I read this story with my daughter, I read one part front to back, then my daughter read one segment and we switched again. It was really quite fun to see her surprise as we unraveled the story. David Macaulay is an innovative author who creates wonderful stories for the reader to untangle. David Macaulay was born on December 2, 1946. Macaulay attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He received a bachelor's degree in architecture. Macaulay¿s first book published was Cathedral, in 1973. Time magazine once wrote, 'What he draws he draws better than any other pen-and-ink illustrator in the world.' He has won numerous awards for his books and illustrations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2001

    A Brilliant Example of Why a Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

    This book clearly deserves more than five stars for its brilliant plot, fascinating design, terrific illustrations, and thought-provoking premise. This book will stretch the imagination and thinking of anyone who sees it, no matter of what age or intellect. And the process of doing the thinking will be enormous good fun. The book starts with a warning. 'This book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time.' Then you get hints. It might contain more than one story, or it might be four stories, or then again, four parts of one story. 'Careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended.' You will be a story detective, not unlike someone trying to solve a crime after the fact. Each page is divided into four stories, each of which generally takes up one-fourth of the page. They are located in the same position relative to one another so you can keep the story thread you are following straight. Each has a title. 'Seeing Things' is about a boy taking his first train trip alone. After a long, mysterious delay, he arrives at a large station to be greeted by his parents. His mother sympathizes with his difficult journey. 'Problem Parents' relates how perfectly normal, hard-working parents return from commuting to work one night wearing costumes made out of newspapers. Soon, they have their children costumed this way too. 'A Waiting Game' shows a crowd of adults waiting for the commuter train on an outdoor platform. Pretty soon they get bored, and the fun begins. 'Udder Chaos' starts with a cow licking a man in a convict suit, and shows how cattle provide camouflage for themselves and everything around them. An occasional element from one of the stories crosses over, and shows up in another story. From these tiny steps, you can begin to unravel the tangled plot. The book earned the Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children's book in 1991. I think this is outstandingly illustrated, even for a Caldecott winner. The images carry the story much more than the occasional words do. Without the fascinating visual display of the book's concept, there would be no story here that you could unravel. Upon rereading, you and your child will grasp additional meaning in the images and words. This will give you a lot to talk and think about. As such, you will welcome this over all of the books where you read the same story in the same way, over ... and ... over ... and ... over ... again. One of the most difficult things for a child to learn is how subjective perception is. I think this book is terrific for making that point, and helping to create an appreciation for clear communication. I suggest that every family with children purchase and regularly read this book. After you have enjoyed this book many times, I suggest that you think about where else a partial story is presented. For example, you and your child might go to a train station or airport and watch the people. You could make up stories about what you see. Then, I suggest that you go up and interview the people to hear what they think their story is. Find the harmony, under the muddied surface of subjective, unfocused perception! Donald Mitchell

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