Brown Is Warm, Black Is Bright

Little, Brown. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316424196.
PreS-Gr 1–Employing full-color figurative digital paintings and structured verse, this book is a joyous celebration of the bucolic life of an Black child and her father. Thomson’s succinct verses are split in half between spreads, alternating “Brown is” and “Black is” on the right side of the spread, and with the turn of the page, the rest of the verse appears on the left side of the next spread. These take the form of alliterative, poetic, sometimes onomatopoeic descriptions of hope. For example, the book opens with a Black girl in boots jumping into a pile of fallen leaves in front of a suburban house; the text, “Brown is crisp” appears in the lower right corner. The following spread has her next words, “crunch and crackle,/ catch me as I fall.” The paintings are largely of pastoral settings, such as fallen leaves, puddles, a bird flying in the sky, and a forest; there are a few pages of the child and her father, with two spreads that serve as a brief history lesson of African American struggles and triumphs. The book makes for a beautiful read-aloud for a group setting with its detailed full-color vibrant imagery and for individual sharing.
VERDICT File this under Black joy, childhood, autumn reveries, or pair with other celebrations of Black strength and beauty, such as Tami Charles’s All Because You Matter and Useni Eugene Perkins’s Hey Black Child.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing