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Comment: Very good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
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Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children Hardcover – November 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-The beauty of African-American children is celebrated in this joyous picture book. Wonderful, clear, full-color photographs of youngsters illustrate a poetic, vivid text that describes a range of skin and eye colors and hair textures. ("I am the midnight blue in a licorice stick/and the golden brown in sugar/I am the velvety orange in a peach/and the coppery brown in a pretzel.") Both the photographs and text with its refrain of "I am Black/I am Unique" impart a sense of pride and well-being. An affirmative message for children of all races.
Tammy K. Baggett, Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 3-7. Indeed, there are many shades of black, and they are beautifully exemplified in this photo album that depicts the varied palette that makes up black skin. These gorgeous children are "gingery brown like a cookie," "brassy yellow like popcorn," and "midnight blue like a licorice stick." And yes, "black" can be creamy white like vanilla ice cream. But the author and illustrator don't stop there. They also look at eyes and hair, showing the beauty and uniqueness of eyes with hints of tiger-eye yellow and sturdy, coiling, woollike hair. All of it is black. All of it is beautiful. This may be just the kind of book that black children don't see enough of, but it can certainly be appreciated by children of any color. Denise Wilms
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439148928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439148924
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It celebrates children of color in all their beautiful shades and hair types.
A. Robinson
This book will help young children identify proudly as Black if their families do - but on a young child's level, it will now make sense.
A. Gutin
I bought this book for my 7 year old son for Christmas- he can read it himself.
Lesley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is essentially a picture book; but oh what wonderful pictures. The author and photographer, wife and husband, have celebrated the variety of black children by comparing their skin, eyes and hair to positive everyday images---peaches, brown sugar, chocolate, ebony, tiger's eye etc. It is a playful and imaginative way of adressing a serious subject---the self-worth of our children. I purchased this book for a brand new granddaughter---she is a delicious mixture of African, Italian and Irish American. She will grow up being proud of her heritage. BTW, I am the Italian grandmother who grew up with a extremely prejudiced parent-----there is hope
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gayle Jackson Sloan on August 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE this book. I bought it for my grandchildren who are 8,4, and 2. All are different shades of brown with the same mother and father. I wanted to give them something that will teach them that no matter how light, dark or in-between they may be, they are ALL beautiful. Not only to me, but to each other. This book is so beautifully laid out and encompasses all the wonderful shades and hues we come in. The authors are to be commended for including EVERYBODY's color. While books celebrating our beautiful brown babies are to be commended, are our lighter-skinned ones to be forgotten? I don't think so, and obviously, neither did these authors. Thank you so much! Here is a book all three of my grandchildren can read together and all identify with.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. J. on January 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
On an outing to a bookstore in New York my 8 year old nephew and I came across this book. My nephew prefers not to read books as much as he looks to like at pictures. So, I insisted that we look at the book together as he read the words to me. Well worth the purchase price. Will assist in providing self-image and self worth for children who may be in an identity crisis due to the negative imagery of children of color in the mass media. The book is filled with children of color (african-american/black) of several different complexions from dark to light and all shades in between..The book uses simple but positive words to compare children and their complexions to beautiful and natural things such as stones, minerals, ice cream, the book also compares natural and familiar items to show variations in hair color and eye color. I found the book to be quite a beautiful and powerful display in its simplicity. My nephew even asked if we could take it home.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Austin on November 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled over this book while shopping in Barnes and Nobles. This book is one that should be on every childs bookshelf (especially if they are having an identity crisis). My three year old's friend who is 5 years old has starting calling my child yellow. This book is definitely a christmas item for her friend. At an early age, she is having some identity issues. This is just the book I was looking for to let her know that she is beautiful and that there are all shades of black. I am sure she will enjoy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 27, 2006
Format: Board book
I am an 18 year old college student who found this fine piece literature on Amazon. I love this book so much, we have a nightly reading outside and invite all of our friends of all shades. This book has inspired me, particularly with the fact that I am BLACK and I am UNIQUE. The best part of the book is that my girlfriend has hair like a cotton ball and I have hair like the twisted corkscrew of a rope. ALL MY HAIR IS GOOD!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is about shades of black people. The part I liked best was the twisted corkscrew in a rope. I think this book is the best because it show people. I learned these new words when I read the book: unique, brassy, and radiant.

By: B.W.

Age 6, Los Angeles
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "maialydia" on April 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book and had to get it for my baby girl!! What a FIND!!!! My daughter is a gorgeous cocoa skinned little girl ~ I am white and her Papa is black.
I thrive on showing my daughter how beautiful people of every color are!!! Though she is only a baby now I want to raise her so that she finds the beauty in every human being!

I bought this book to show my little girl even more colorful faces - black, white, yellow, honey, ginger, brownsugar and more! This book is such a gem! What a treasure- gorgeous pictures, lovely text - a message as strong as the smiles on those adorable faces of so many Shades of Black.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janelynn Testerman on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book

While I purchased this book for the benefit of some of my students with racial identity issues, I found that all children seem to love it.

It conveys such a wonderful message without browbeating. No one can "make" a child have positive self-esteem. I can tell a child all day that he or she is beautiful, intelligent, or talented but he or she won't necessarily buy into the idea. It is more important to SHOW children. This book celebrates diversity and not by chanting about beauty but by photographing children beautifully and articulating their gorgeous attributes. I cannot put into words the delight I see in several children's faces when discovering a child that resembles him or her in this book. Children loves saying that's MY HAIR or MY EYES ... with delicate streaks of amber. I found that Caucasian children enjoy the book as well with ravenous curiosity and enjoy the vocabulary that is relevant to their individuality.

The book creates an appropriate forum for discussing ethnicity and pulls children away from the horrid question, "What is you?"
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