THE BLACKER THE BERRY by Joyce Carol Thomas
Kirkus Star

THE BLACKER THE BERRY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

“What shade is human?” Thomas’s evocative, colorful poetry seeks to answer that question with this celebration of the diversity of African-American children across the spectrum. From “Raspberry Black” to “Golden Goodness,” Cooper’s soft and realistic illustrations almost leap from the page, incorporating natural images from the text in their depiction of a gallery of beautiful, self-confident children. Difficult intraracial social issues related to skin color are handled with truth and respect. For instance, in the poem “Snowberries,” a fair-skinned child speaks back to those who would question her identity: “The words cut deep down / Beyond the bone / Beneath my snowy skin / Deep down where no one can see / I bleed the ‘one drop of blood’ / That makes Black me.” On the page opposite, an auburn-haired girl smiles at the reader, eyes twinkling. An essential picture book that helps young children understand and appreciate differences in skin color. As the epigraph states so truthfully, “Colors, without black, / couldn’t sparkle quite so bright.” (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-025375-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2008




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