"An eye-opening tribute to an often underrated color."—Kirkus Reviews
"The text discusses positive examples of the color black, deliberately diminishing its stereotypical associations with danger, negativity, and sadness. Childlike collage illustrations layer images on abstract or earth-toned backgrounds, successfully conveying black’s ubiquitous presence in the world, along with its beauty." —Booklist
"The text discusses positive examples of the color black, deliberately diminishing its stereotypical associations with danger, negativity, and sadness. Childlike collage illustrations layer images on abstract or earth-toned backgrounds, successfully conveying black’s ubiquitous presence in the world, along with its beauty."
PreS-Gr 2—The duo behind Brown: The Many Shades of Love returns with a poetic tribute to the color black and how it represents beauty in the world. A poetic, mostly rhyming, pattern in the first person lists various things that are black, including "mama's braids," "my puppy," and blackbirds, as well as more ethereal things such as shadows, clouds, and musical notes. It acknowledges that some people are afraid of black/darkness, while celebrating it as ink, silence, and more. While the rhythm and rhyme periodically strain, for the most part the lines flow smoothly and effectively. The real star here, however, is the stunning mixed-media, collage-style art. With the exception of a couple of all-black pages, Moore works on a tan canvas for brightly colored fabric art, along with cut-out watercolors of the Black female narrator, who has brown skin and curly black hair. The puppy is created with black fabric and fills an entire spread; the shadow and panther drip across the page, reminiscent of Marcia Brown's Shadow. Raindrops, a quilt, and color patterns are all conveyed with deeply saturated fabric. Most pages are full-bleed spreads. The arresting, eye-catching art seems to almost lift off the page. VERDICT While the text has a slightly purposeful feel, and the poetry a few stumbles, the gorgeous, intensely colored art, and important content raise this title up.—Amy Lilien-Harper
Turning a negative into a positive is as simple as adding a single, unifying color to your rainbow.
Author James and illustrator Moore join forces to create a delightfully simple yet utterly unique look at the color black. With artwork that utilizes multiple textures and geometric shapes, the narrative compellingly illustrates the versatility and beauty of the color wheel’s darkest hue. James’ rhyming text flows gently like water in a dark, dark river. The book exemplifies the power of looking at a commonplace subject in a new light. Its two Black creators seamlessly and artfully demonstrate that blackness—whether used to describe paint, fabric, or human beings—is nothing to fear. Rather, the color deserves to be celebrated and appreciated in all its multiplicity: “Black is the rich, fertile earth. / And the shiny beetle tunneling dirt. / Black are intricate musical notes / and the flashing shine of fancy clothes.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)
An eye-opening tribute to an often underrated color. (Picture book. 5-8)