CAROL OF THE BROWN KING
Six holiday poems highlight the universality of the Christmas season with a special emphasis on African-American influences. Hughes's writings capture the spirit of the nativity story from different vantage points—a 'brown' king's, a shepherd boy's, the Child's, travelers', etc.—using language that is musical, simple, and ideal for children. Bryan's glowing illustrations incorporate vibrant deep blues and greens to portray an opulent landscape—even the humble stable is bathed in gold. The deliberately childlike feel of the drawings throws into relief the power of the message, that the story of the first Christmas belongs to no one, and to everyone.