Ages 4^-8. Like Langston Hughes in his poetry, this picture book openly confronts the way we often associate darkness and blackness with what is bad; it then answers the negatives with a vibrant celebration of African roots. For several pages, a child named Montsho asks his beloved grandfather about dark, scary nights, black eyes, black cats that bring bad luck, black as the color of mourning, negative stereotypes on television--and close to home, about why his aunt calls him the "black sheep of the family" because he is darker than his brothers. Grandpa hugs him close, beats a great African drum, and tells Montsho that black is beautiful. Handsome double-page spreads acclaim the history, spirit, and culture of Montsho's African heritage: "Africa is beautiful and so are its people with their beautiful, dark black skin." Children will appreciate both the candor and the comfort. This is a good book for bibliotherapy and to open up a discussion, especially if you use it with some of the singing poetry that celebrates "I am the darker brother." Hazel RochmanFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 1-4-Montsho, a young African-American boy, is concerned: black cats are bad luck, witches wear black, the bad characters are in black on television, etc. When he poses the question to his Grandpa, "Is everything black bad?" the man reassures his grandson that it isn't so and takes him into a special room that looks like an African kingdom. While beating a drum, he recites a poem that relates their full and rich cultural background. The book ends with Grandpa saying that "the dark color of your skin and your African heritage is a good thing, a very good thing indeed." Eye-pleasing watercolor-and-ink illustrations wash over each page, adroitly depicting the child's concerns, the characters, and the African images. The message is obviously worthwhile and important, but the text is at times heavy-handed. This aside, the title is worth reading and sharing, and will be especially of value in classrooms emphasizing cultural awareness.
Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro Culture Co Op, 1998. Library Binding. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110964465507
Descrizione libro Culture Co-Op, 1998. Library Binding. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria SONG0964465507