LITTLE BLACK BOOK by Renée Khatami
Kirkus Star


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An intriguing examination of the shades of black.

Clear photographs depict objects associated with a color often overlooked. The interaction between image and text creates some interesting parallels; a young African-American girl grabs for a cat mask while its animal counterpart studies her competition nearby. Some sparkly stars offer some shine, but overall, the emphasis addresses the complexities of darkness in all its variations. An element of surprise provides some punch (a bunny is featured at the beginning, while a bat is in the magician's hat). The narrator's childlike voice has a pleasing authenticity; velvet is described not as formal clothing but as “dress-up disguises.” The focus shifts from the tangible with a gentle whisper: “and black is… a sparkling night sky high above… all that! / Sweet dreams.” Touch-and-feel details include the cat mask's whiskers (firmly anchored to the page) or the baby rabbit's soft fur. Scratch-and-sniff licorice smells genuine.

There's a lot to explore away from the hues of the rainbow. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)  

Pub Date: July 26th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-87235-8
Page count: 14pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2011


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