From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–When her homework assignment is to bring in the word that names your favorite kind of pet, Kenya isnt listening, and she comes to class with her tarantula. When asked to be prepared to talk about favorite foods, the girl brings in a paper bag with ice cream that melts all over her desk. And when her teacher asks the students to bring in their favorite describing word, Kenya spends the weekend thinking about adjectives. She chooses Black…all the colors of the rainbow together, and the color of all of her favorite things. Unfortunately, the black is beautiful message seems a tad too obvious and forced. The average-quality paintings are warm and energetic, and avoid distracting detail. The style enhances the text for young readers trying to grasp the concepts of nouns and adjectives. Useful for reinforcing lessons on parts of speech and for eliciting discussions of ethnic respect.–Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
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Gr. 1-3. A bit of a dreamer, Kenya is not the best listener in class. When asked to bring in "the word that names your favorite kind of pet," she brings her tarantula to school and causes a sensation. Rather than the name of her favorite food, she brings a carton of ice cream, which melts messily. Then the class moves from naming words to describing words. Kenya observes and discusses the qualities of foods, jazz, and colors before deciding on her favorite describing word, black
, which contains all the colors of the rainbow. Beyond its obvious links to elementary-school skills and black pride, this book offers a nicely paced story of a girl who makes mistakes along the way, but applies herself and does well in the end. From the multiracial classroom to the African American home and community, the colorful paintings convincingly depict Kenya's school classroom as well as the supportive people who help her succeed. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved