Beautiful blackbird

Author Bryan, Ashley.
Language English
Publisher
Recorded Books One cassettes 15 min. Trade Ed. $15.95 One CDs $15.75., 2007




Annotation:

Children's ebooks



Subjects :

  • Folklore
  • Folklore
  • Ila (African people)

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Author Illustrator(s) :

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Best Books :

  • Best Children's Books of the Year, 2004 Bank Street College of Education
  • Capitol Choices, 2004 The Capitol Choices Committee
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2004 H.W. Wilson
  • Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 H.W. Wilson
  • Choices, 2004 Cooperative Children's Book Center
  • Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, 2004 NCTE Children's Literature Assembly
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2004 National Council for the Social Studies

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Awards, Honors & Prizes :

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award, 2004 Winner United States

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State & Provincial Reading List :

  • 2X2 Reading List, 2004; Texas
  • Armadillo Readers' Choice Award, 2004-2005; Nominee Texas
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2005; Nominee Kentucky
  • Texas Reading Club, 2004; Texas

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Curriculum Tools :

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Reading Measurement Programs:


0689847319
Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:) 2003.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Lower Grade
Book Level 3.7
Accelerated Reader Points 0

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 540
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level K-2
Reading Level 3
Accelerated Reader Points 1

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Standard Learning Info :

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2004 Individuals, Groups, and Institutions-V; Culture-I National Council for the Social Studies

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Reviews :

Julie Cummins (Booklist, Jan. 1, 2003 (Vol. 99, No. 9))
In this simple adaptation of a tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia, the message is clear: "Black is beautiful." Once upon a time, Blackbird was the only bird of Africa who wasn't brightly colored. When Ringdove asks who is the most beautiful bird, the other birds name Blackbird. At Ringdove's request, Blackbird brings blackening from his medicine gourd to decorate Ringdove's colored neck; the other birds also want trimming, so Blackbird paints dots and brushes lines and arcs until his gourd is empty. Using a more vivid palette than usual, Bryan employs boldly colored, cut-paper artwork to dramatize the action. The overlapping collage images fill the pages with energy as the songlike responses of the birds tap out a rhythm punctuated with "uh-huhs." In an author's note, Bryan explains that the scissors pictured on the endpapers, which Bryan used to create the collages, were once also used by his mother. Ready-made for participative storytelling. Category: Books for the Young--Nonfiction. 2003, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $16.95. K-Gr. 2.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Leslie Rounds (Children's Literature)
Utilizing simple, colorful, cut-paper collages, this book is an adaptation of an African folk tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia. Blackbird is admired by the other birds of the forest because his feathers gleam with all the colors of the sun, and all the other birds are just one color each. Blackbird offers to mix up a special blackening brew and share it with the other birds, even though he also tells them that "Color on the outside is not what's on the inside." He gives the other birds black highlights, and the book concludes with the words, "Black is beautiful, UH-HUH!" Very simple, rhythmic text accompanies equally simple illustrations. The book does not include any source material for the folk tale. Because of its uncomplicated presentation, this book would be useful in making an African folk tale accessible to a very young audience, and the colorful illustrations and cheerful theme would please most young children. 2003, Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, $16.95. Ages 3 to 8.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2004)
Of all of the birds in the forest, Blackbird was considered the most beautiful. All of the other birds envied his beautiful black feathers, despite their own bright colors. Even though Blackbird assures them it's what they have on the inside that makes them beautiful, they eventually convince him to stir a "blackening brew." He uses this to paint specks and stripes and spots of black on their feathers. Ashley Bryan's rhythmic prose and stunning, vibrant cut-paper collages retell this Zambian folk tale that celebrates the beauty of all creatures both outside and in. CCBC categories: Folklore, Mythology, and Traditional Literature; Picture Books for School-Aged Children; Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers. 2003, Atheneum, 36 pages, $16.95. Ages 4-8.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2002 (Vol. 70, No. 23))
Blackbird shares his gifts with the birds of Africa in this colorful read-aloud. This adaptation of an Ila story tells of long ago, when all the birds have solid colored, unpatterned feathers, and only Blackbird has any black at all. The other birds agree that Blackbird is the most beautiful, as his black feathers "gleam all colors in the sun." Blackbird mixes up a little something in his medicine gourd, and presents each bird with some black patterns of its own. The birds are happy with their new designs, and chorus, "Black is beautiful, UH-HUH." This telling, by the master storyteller, just aches to be read aloud; the lively rhythms keep the simple folktale rollicking along. The cut-paper collage illustrations are full of color, but it's of blandly similar intensity until Blackbird arrives with his blackening brew. Then the newly patterned birds, gleaming in high-contrast images with their new designs, make for visual excitement as they praise Blackbird for their new look. A good start at challenging learned ways of reading color that reserve black for scary or dull images, the text implies a racial metaphor (unless the refrain "black is beautiful" is focused only on rethinking artistic codes), yet whatever message of tolerance or self-love the text might hold is obscure. Blackbird talks of the difference a little black can make, but he also emphasizes that external appearances do not reflect the inner self. Which of the two is more important is never clarified. Still, the rolling language and appealing illustrations make this a must. 2003, Atheneum, $16.95. Category: Picture book/folktale. Ages 4 to 7. © 2002 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Storyteller Bryan's (What a Wonderful World) singular voice provides rhythm and sound effects throughout this musical adaptation of a Zambian tale. When gray Ringdove calls the other monotone birds together and asks, "Who of all is the most beautiful?" they all reply, "Blackbird." They then encircle Blackbird, dancing and singing, "Beak to beak, peck, peck, peck,/ Spread your wings, stretch your neck./ Black is beautiful, uh-huh!/ Black is beautiful, uh-huh!" At the birds' request, Blackbird agrees to paint black markings on them (with the blackening brew in his medicine gourd), but he warns Ringdove that it's not the color black that will make them beautiful. "Color on the outside is not what's on the inside..... Whatever I do/ I'll be me and you'll be you." The message about inner beauty and identity becomes somewhat diluted by the closing song, in which the birds triumphantly sing, "Our colors sport a brand-new look,/ A touch of black was all it took./ Oh beautiful black, uh-huh, uh-huh/ Black is beautiful, UH-HUH!" But if the ending creates a bit of confusion, Bryan's collages make up for it with their exhibition of colorful splendor and composition. Scenes of the rainbow of wings are outdone only by a lakeside view of their colors intricately "mirrored in the waters." And Bryan's lilting and magical language is infectious. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)"
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Janice M. Del Negro (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2003 (Vol. 56, No. 6))
Bryan tells the story of Blackbird, who, “a long, long time ago,” was voted the most beautiful of all the birds in Africa. The pallid Ringdove takes Blackbird aside and asks, “Oh, Blackbird, Blackbird, coo-coo-roo, coo-ca-roo, would you color me black so that I’ll be black like you?” Blackbird explains that “color on the outside is not what’s on the inside,” but he promises to brew some blackening in his medicine gourd to “swing a ring” around Ringdove’s neck to go along with his name. Not surprisingly, when Ringdove is thus decorated the other birds want decorations, too, and Blackbird uses his blackening potion to make them all happy. The plot is somewhat slight and the momentum sometimes falters, but Bryan’s adaptation of this African tale (from the Ila people of Zambia, according to a source note) makes good use of syncopated language that suffuses the proceedings with joie de vivre. Cut-paper collage birds of many colors flutter through the pages against white and colored backgrounds; on some pages the hues seem washed out, and even when the defining black is added the compositions are scattered, lacking the driving rhythm of the text. The contrast between the black decorations and the colored paper lends emphasis to the visuals and to the message, however, and the new-construction-paper freshness of the medium will invite appreciation from skillful young scissors-wielders. A clear message, replicable art techniques, and storytelling possibilities make this a title rife with potential curricular connections. Review Code: Ad -- Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. (c) Copyright 2003, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2003, Atheneum, 32p, $16.95. Ages 5-9 yrs.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Ginny Hoskins (The Lorgnette - Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 16, No. 4))
Long ago, all the birds were of different colors--red, blue, yellow--but they all had only one color. All the birds agreed that Blackbird was the most beautiful, and they begged him to share some of his black color with them. Blackbird agreed to brew up some blackening in his medicine gourd and give some to all the birds, but he reminded them that real beauty comes from inside. Adapted from a folktale told in Zambia, the message of the story is good, and the author’s cut paper illustrations are wonderful. The vocabulary level makes this a good book for reading aloud to the younger students, and the older ones can enjoy it on their own. Nonfiction (398.2). Grades K-3. 2003, Atheneum Books, Unpaged., $16.95. Ages 5 to 9.
(PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2003.)

Susan Baird (Audiofile, June/July 2008)
This lyrical and meaningful tale is adapted from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia. Blackbird's solid black coat glows in the African sunshine, making all of the other birds that surround him envious. They too want a touch of black on their too colorful plumes. Narrator Myra Lucretia Taylor imbues this rhythmic story with her gorgeous voice, distinctive enunciation, and bird sounds. When the birds unanimously declare Blackbird the most beautiful of all, they chant, "Black is beautiful, uh-huh . . ." Young listeners will be exposed to the many possibilities raised by the simple symbolism. The tale is also perfect for participation. It invites singing, chanting, and imitation of the bird interactions. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine Unabridged. 2007 (orig. 2003), Recorded Books, One cassettes, 15 min., Trade Ed., $15.95, One CDs, $15.75. Ages 4 to 6.
(PUBLISHER: Recorded Books One cassettes 15 min. Trade Ed. $15.95 One CDs $15.75., PUBLISHED: 2007 (orig. 2003))

Recorded Books (Recorded Books, LLC.)
Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan adapted this charming tale from a story told by the Ilaspeaking people of Zambia. All the birds in the forest are jealous of Blackbird, whose black feathers glisten and shine colorfully in the sunbeams. The other birds are a single color from head to foot, and none of them have even a spot of black on their feathers. Blackbird tells them that true color is on the inside, but still the birds long for black feathers. So Blackbird brews a batch of blackening to decorate all his friends. n.d., Recorded Books, Unabridged CD - Library Edition; C4079, $15.75. Ages 5 to 11.
(PUBLISHER: Recorded Books One cassettes 15 min. Trade Ed. $15.95 One CDs $15.75., PUBLISHED: 2007 (orig. 2003))

Recorded Books (Recorded Books, LLC.)
Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan adapted this charming tale from a story told by the Ilaspeaking people of Zambia. All the birds in the forest are jealous of Blackbird, whose black feathers glisten and shine colorfully in the sunbeams. The other birds are a single color from head to foot, and none of them have even a spot of black on their feathers. Blackbird tells them that true color is on the inside, but still the birds long for black feathers. So Blackbird brews a batch of blackening to decorate all his friends. n.d., Recorded Books, Unabridged Cassette - Library Edition; 98696, $15.75. Ages 5 to 11.
(PUBLISHER: Recorded Books Unabridged Cassette- Library Edition; 98696 $15.75., PUBLISHED: n.d.)

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Publication Details:

  Publisher ISBN Notes
Recorded Books One cassettes 15 min. Trade Ed. $15.95 One CDs $15.75., 2007

Media Type:

9781428145559
New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003

Media Type: Language Material
1 v. (unpaged):
PZ8.1.B838 (398.2 /096894/04528 E)
0689847319
9780689847318
"Adapted from a tale from 'The Ila-speaking people from Northern Rhodesia' (now known as Zambia) by Edwin W. Smith and Andrew M. Dale. University Books New Hyde Park New York 1968. vol. 2 pp. 350-51"-Colophon.
New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 11

Media Type: Language Material

(398.2 /096)
9781442436862
1442436867
Recorded Books Unabridged Cassette- Library Edition; 98696 $15.75.,

Media Type:

9781428145542
1428145540

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