cover image Black, White, Just Right!

Black, White, Just Right!

Marguerite Davol. Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-0785-8

More a concept book than a story, this work is narrated by the daughter of an interracial marriage. In free verse, the bubbly, confident girl describes her African American mother's face as ``chestnut brown. / Her dark brown eyes are bright as bees.'' Her father, on the other hand, ``turns pink in the sun; / his blue eyes squinch up when he smiles. My face? I look like both of them-- / a little dark, a litte light. Mama and Papa say, `Just right!' '' The girl then describes her parents' different preferences in music, art and food, and the idiosyncrasies that make each family member an individual. The energetic brush strokes of Trivas's ( Annie . . . Anya! ) bright gouache illustrations heighten the sense of a world beautified through a blend of colors, while her compositions warmly depict the affection and positive self-image exuded both by the child and by her parents. Though Davol doesn't address the difficulties some children of an interracial marriage may experience outside the accepting realm of family, the book's upbeat tone is welcoming and refreshing. By moving beyond physical differences, Davol successfully shows how families are composed of distinct individuals whose love is the key to securing a child's sense of self. Ages 6-8. (Oct.)