“Melanated” children get an ABC book to make them proud in Rose’s colorful debut.
A is for “Afro.…Pick it, fluff it, love it.” B is for “very Black. Be it unapologetically.” C is for “Creative. Paint the canvas of your life with the colors of the rainbow. Sprinkle your Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy on the world.” Each large letter is itself a work of art, filled with patterns, colors, and themes that frequently directly relate to the word represented. Children of various hues populate each page, pictured at about one-third the size of the letters, enacting the word in some way. They sing, they dance, they march, they wear crowns, they pretend, they dream, they smile at their reflections in the mirror. A few famous names are featured—Obama for O, and Malcolm X for X. The white space is splattered with what looks like watercolor paints, in different colors on each spread. Each child pictured is unique, with all sorts of hairstyles and hair colors and skin tones that range from the deepest black to albino and everything in between, including several with vitiligo. Contagiously upbeat, joyful, and positive, this artistic alphabet book is also a series of affirmations for young black children, who will beg to read it again and again.
From “Empowerment” to “Worthy,” “Genuine” to “You,” there are more than 26 reasons to cherish this book. (Picture book. 3-8)