BE BOY BUZZ by bell hooks

BE BOY BUZZ

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The creators of Happy to Be Nappy (1999) return with a fine companion paean to boy-ness. “I be boy. / All bliss boy. / All fine beat. All beau boy. / Beautiful. / All bad boy beast. / All boy.” Hooks’s spare text celebrates the many aspects of being a boy, from running and jumping to sitting still and dreaming, the chopped-off declarative sentences creating a jumpy flow that embodies the pent-up energy of preschoolers. Raschka’s equally spare illustrations appear on a background of terra-cotta paper, and feature brown-skinned boys pictured as heads and limbs emerging from amorphous clothing depicted as short white lines overlaid with circles and jags of colored lines. The energy and movement conveyed by these lines, complemented by irregular tight boxy squiggles that appear floating on the page, enhances the energetic rhythm of the text. The words march across the page, varying in size and placement to complete the sense of irregular bursts of energy. For the most part, the boy figures appear without relation to one another, with two major exceptions: in one spread—“All boy. Hug me close. Don’t let me down”—a boy appears wrapped in the embrace of a nurturing adult; in the next, two boys—“All boy. Big open heart. Sweet mind”—appear with elongated arms joining to create one big circle, harmoniously enclosing two of the boxy energy-squiggles. In all, a pleasing and affirmative visual and textual interpretation of what it means to be a little boy: be boy buzz, indeed. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0814-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2002




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