Wednesday, February 20, 2008
BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD (Genre: Traditional Literature/module 3)
Title: Beautiful Blackbird
Author: Ashley Bryan
Illustrator: Ashley Bryan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: December 2002
The illustrations in this fascinating "why" book explaining how birds were colored with black are mesmerizing. The author/illustrator, who used scissors to create the beautiful collages, creates images that assist with the telling of this rhythmic Zambian tale. Children will surely want to chant along with the rebus of the book "Black is beautiful, uh-huh." Blackbird, unlike other children's literature characters such as the Rainbow Fish, willingly shares as much of his black coloration with other birds as possible, however his focus remains on the beauty within each bird. This book's focus on one's inner beauty makes it a unique tale and a tale that stands out among folk literature. The ending is a bit abrupt and my leave younger readers wondering, but the overall effect of the book makes it a must read. Appropriate and engaging for readers of all ages, Blackbird reminds everyone that one cannot judge a bird by his feathers.