OH LORD, I WISH I WAS A BUZZARD by Polly Greenberg
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With a refrain that swings along--""We picked and we picked""--and the rhythmic counterpoise. ""It was hot, oh my, it was hot,"" a little girl looks up from the cotton field, sees a dog ""lying under a bush, going huh-huh-huh like dogs do,"" says ""Oh Lord, I wish I was a dog""; sees a buzzard ""going round and round and round in the sky like buzzards do,"" says ""Oh Lord, I wish I wish I was a buzzard""; and so on until Saturday when ""our Daddy gave us our suckers. Mine was red. . . . We licked and we licked and we licked . . . (then) walked home late in the evening with the moon shining pretty on the land."" Supporting the simple text are stylized illustrations in red and brown and black and white, red the color of the sun and the bandanna and dress of the girl, brown the color of her skin and the fields, black for accent and white not for nullity but for space and for the bolls that dot the fields like daisies. The initial ""when I was a little girl"" sets the situation at a distance but there's no denying that the reality is too close still for the comfort of many people, black and white. Whatever your reaction or your reasons, you should see this; the yearning of a weary child for release from hard work becomes an experience that any child can share.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1968
ISBN: 1587171228
Publisher: Macmillan