Position:Home > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Black Is Brown Is Tan

Black Is Brown Is Tan

Press: Perfection Learning (January 6, 2004)
Publication Date:2004-1
Author Name:Adoff, Arnold; McCully, Emily Arnold;


Brown-skinned momma, the color of chocolate milk and coffee pumpkin pie, whose face gets ginger red when she puffs and yells the children into bed. 
White-skinned daddy, not white like milk or snow, lighter than brown, With pinks and tiny tans, whose face gets tomato red when he puffs and yells their children into bed.
Children who are all the colors of the race, growing up happy in a house full of love.
This is the way it is for them; this is the way they are, but the joy they feel extends to every reader of this book."Black is brown is tan" is a story poem about being, a beautiful true song about a family delighting in each other and in the good things of the earth.

From Publishers Weekly

Fragmented verse lovingly explores the colors of various multicultural families. 
Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-A beautiful picture of an interracial home in which there  is fun, security, and plenty of love. 
The text was first published in 1973 and remains the same.
Members from both sides of the extended family come for visits.
One of the lovely scenes shows "granny white" and "grandma black" arriving at the same time and then sitting congenially with the children "telling stories of ago." McCully has updated the illustrations with watercolor paintings to show the brown-skinned momma, the white daddy, and the two children in a 21st-century setting.
For example, the earlier edition showed the father and son sitting in front of a typewriter, while in the updated version they are sitting in the same position, but the typewriter has been replaced by a computer.
Children from interracial families will love reading about a family like their own and other youngsters will be provided with a window into such a home.Dorothy N.
Bowen, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 2-6. 
With the recent death of beloved children's author Virginia Hamilton, this newly illustrated version of her husband's 1973 poem is especially moving with its lyrical celebration of an interracial family like their own.
Children everywhere will love the simple, joyful rhythmic words in Adoff's signature "shaped speech" style, with McCully's beautiful dancing watercolors that show the contemporary family (computers in the home), loving and happy together through the seasons.
Mom is brown skinned; Dad is blond; the two young children are the colors of both their parents.
The light-filled scenes are idyllic, even when a parent gets red in the face ("I puff and yell you into bed").
They read and sing together, work in the garden, play on the beach, and tell stories with granny white and grandma black.
Adults will be interested in the biographical note: Adoff and McCully's 1973 version was the first children's book about an interracial family.
In 1960, when Adoff and Hamilton were married, their interracial union violated segregation laws in 28 states.
Adoff says this is an "enduring song" to their two now adult children.
Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Arnold Adoff has written over twenty-five books of poetry for young readers, including Slow Dance Heartbreak Blues, illustrated by William Cotton; and Street Music: City Poems, illustrated by Karen Barbour, both of which are available at your local library. 
He is the author of Malcolm X, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, and has also edited The Poetry of Black America.
He has received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, and his trademark "shaped speech" writing style and his rhythmic poems have made him one of the most renowned children's poets of our time.Mr.
Adoff and his wife, celebrated author Virginia Hamilton, live in Yellow Springs, Ohio.Emily Arnold McCully has illustrated more than a hundred books for children, including her own First Snow and Arnold Adoff's Black Is Brown Is Tan.
She won the Caldecott Medal for her book Mirette On the High Wire.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Family Life

 PDF Download And Online Read: Black Is Brown Is Tan

Comment List (Total:17)

  •     My wife ordered this book for our boys. It is well written and well illustrated. It's a nice bedtime story that our boys enjoy, and as a bonus can personally relate to.

  •     This a book meant to boost the self esteem of bi/multi racial children. I think it's very unfortunate that it does not address any of emotional/social issues.

  •     This is a great book

  •     This is a beautiful book. I adore Arnold Adoff and this is my favorite book of his.

  •     I'm now 45 years old, and this is one of the many books I remember my mother reading to me as a little boy. I will always have wonderful memories of this book.

  •     I purchased this book for a pregnant co-worker. I always give books to expectant parents and try to find something that is relevant to them. As she is African-American and her husband is white I thought this would be great. Since she and I are also teachers I was a little nervous that she would already have it. Fortunately, she didn't. She has since told me that it was the most thoughtful gift she received.

  •     We love it!! Beautifully written!

  •     My three year old loves it. From the words to the pictures, to it being a family that mimics her own she can relate.

  •     I had to write over all the lowercase I 's. Kind of hard to instill self esteem, with such a outward statement of low self esteem, repeated on nearly every page.

  •     This is a very neat book and my daughter likes it too. Good for family time reading

  •     We are a mixed family too. I love the art work and poetry. My 2 year has memorized some of the pages. I am very thankful that she can see images that she can see a reflection of herself in.

  •     Excellent! Love it!

  •     I didn't realize that it was a poem instead of a story. Otherwise, I like that this is a multicultural family like mine. :)

  •     Arnold Adoff is the wonderfully insightful author of this easy to read, realistic poem/book. We originally bought one copy of this book about 16 years ago and since have donated it to elementary and middle school libraries all over out city. Mr.Adoff instills a sense of self esteem in all members of a multi-racial/multi-cultural family while using poetry to make it even more memorable. The artwork will entice you to discuss the theme and allows little ones to not only see themselves, but to tell you how they see their family members on the pages too. Moms and Dads of multi-ethnic children will want to thank Arnold Adoff for his no-drama approach to everyday life...and all the special little things our families get to share as we venture into raising kids and growing up like we do! Moms and Dads whose children are not bi-racial or bi-cultural will find support in teaching acceptance to their little ones while not making this topic seem so "clinical." So, while you may be tugging on wet hair of wiggly little girls or shooing your babies up to bed...take time, share this poem, and enjoy ...there's nothing more special than seeing confident little eyes smiling as they look into the bright shiny mirror that this and all of Arnold Adoff's work offers every one of us!

  •     When our sons were preschoolers, this story provided a natural way to introduce them to a multicultural family that they didn't see in our small town. Later I read it in the classroom; I'd recommend it for shared reading in kindergarten - gr. 3. Through high school, it can be studied from other perspectives. For example, a teacher might include this story in a writing class, a poetry unit, or sociology/family life.The author describes some of his writing as "singing poems." Actually, it was the pictures that first enticed us to pick up the book, then we remembered poetry is meant to read aloud! The current edition is terrific, too, and I highly recommend it for homes, schools, and libraries.

  •     This book is a classic for multiracial families. Poetic yet intentional in its message, "black is brown is tan" still sends a beautiful, powerful message to its reader -you are wonderfully made! This is the first book that I bought for my baby as I consider it a 'must have'!

  •     Very Disappointed.


Children's Books Book PDF @ 2018