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White on Black Board book – May 27, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's never too early to start kids reading. Even in infancy, young eyes can begin to make connections between images on a page and the real thing. White on Black is an ideal first book, and one that will continue to fascinate the very youngest readers as they grow. Exquisitely simple, solid white pictures of everyday objects--a banana, a duck, a bottle--against a black background provide high contrast for developing eyes. This wordless picture book encourages caregivers to engage the child as they "read" together: "Oh look, a boat, that looks like your bath toy, doesn't it?"

With White on Black's companion book, Black on White, Tana Hoban has created a striking pair of visual tools to increase the youngest readers' burgeoning powers of perception. In this complex world, it's a joy to find a book that sees the world in the simplest of terms. (Baby to Preschool) --Emilie Coulter

About the Author

Tana Hoban's photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in galleries around the world. She has won many gold medals and prizes for her work as a photographer and filmmaker. Her books for children are known and loved throughout the world.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 4 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Board book: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 27, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688119190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688119195
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tana Hoban's photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in galleries around the world. She has won many gold medals and prizes for her work as a photographer and filmmaker. Her books for children are known and loved throughout the world.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
Before my first-born could speak or even SIT, all the adults around him could tell which page he liked most--true communication from an infant that didn't involve crying (or other intense and directed body language)! We were amazed that we all had noticed. The books got LOTS of attention from our wee one. Face it, there is just not a lot you CAN "read" to an infant those first six months of life. He loved them. I'm here buying my fifth or sixth set of these two books for yet another mom-to-be. They are so much more memorable than green and yellow clothing, for both parents and babes.
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Format: Board book
We "read" this book to our son when he was a few weeks old, not because he understood the pictures, but because he could track the black and white pictures. Reading is extremely important to any child and we wanted to start early. So, eventhough our 4 week old had no idea what the words meant, he would nestle as we described the pictures to him and turned the pages. How else does a child learn to love reading? When our son was approximately one year old he could begin to describe some of the pictures and he would sit on the floor and "read" this book himself. An excellent, excellent first book for your baby or for a gift.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought this book and "Black on White" (also by Tana Hoban) for my son when he was one month old. He liked them both, though "Black on White" was clearly his favorite (he reached for that one more often when they were both in front of him and there are far more tooth marks on that book).
Still, the white silhouettes of familiar objects on a black background did catch his interest when I turned the pages for him, and the simple, two-color book did interest him early on.
As with "Black on White," however, I find that his interest in "White on Black" waned when he turned about seven months old in favor of other, more colorful books.
If you only want to buy one book of this type, I would suggest going with "Black on White." However, I believe the two books do provide a good variety for a very young infant.
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Format: Board book
These simple, familiar silhouettes held my baby's interest from the time he was a few weeks old until about his first birthday. For a while I propped the book open on his changing table, and it kept his attention occupied during diaper changes. I wish hospitals would send a copy home with every newborn, to help all infants get the early mental stimulation they need.
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Format: Board book
This book is wonderful for topic focused conversation with your infant. Sometimes it is hard to find things to talk about with an infant. This books helps to solve that problem so that we can expose our babies to the conversational language they need to learn how to speak.
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By A Customer on January 8, 2000
Format: Board book
This book is okay, but my infant nephew preferred Black on White (see the reviews) and one of the 2 is really enough.
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Format: Board book
This is one of the few books that I ALWAYS send as a baby present. It's fantastic---the black and white illustrations are great for a newborn and many of my friends have continued to "read" the book with their child even when he or she became a toddler.
Try her other book---which has black images on a white background as well.
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Format: Board book
This book is wonderful, as long as you know that it is meant for a newborn. It is unlikely to interest an older baby.

But it is, in my opinion, a must have. This was one of the few things that our son really enjoyed during the first few months of his life.

We would either hold the book up or prop it up next to him and he would just stare at it for the longest time. You could see his eyes scanning the page. One page, of some buttons, was his favorite. His eyes would light up and he would get excited when you turned it to the buttons page.

I would recommend that you buy two of these books - one for the diaper bag and one for home. I bought four contrast books, which was more than necessary.

Of the four, this was his favorite.

This isn't a particularly interactive book. You can name the objects on the page, of course, but the point is that it's interesting to newborns because of their baby vision and the fact that they can see the contrasting figures with ease. When our son was in a fussy mood, I could prop up a book in his play yard and take a ten minute shower. He was highly entertained by these for a couple of months.

He is now one and books are his favorite things. He "reads" to himself several times a day, book after book, flipping through the pages, pointing at things, and babbling to himself. I have no idea if this has anything to do with the fact that he's been exposed to books since he was about a week old. Maybe all babies love books this much, or maybe he would have loved them anyway.
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