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Black is Brown is Tan

Last updated Friday, February 21, 2020

Author: Arnold Adoff
Illustrator: Emily Arnold McCully
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0060287764
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2004

Synopsis: Arnold Adoff's 1973 poem "black is brown is tan," featuring the "first interracial family in children's books," according to the publisher, appears here with Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully's new watercolors.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What are the colors of the people in the room? What are other ways to describe that color?
•  How are people different? How are they the same?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a diamond shaped kite with a tail made with string and diamonds of different colors.
•  Draw your family portrait showing all of the colors.
•  Make a family of paper dolls of different colors

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!