A good picture book is a story with compelling illustrations. The prose and language in the book should be accessible to readers young and old. The illustrations should be able to help tell the story and make it come alive in front of the readers’ eyes. I’m happy to share that You So Black meets all these criteria. Read on for a full review of the book You So Black by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D, and illustrations by London Ladd.
Books are provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
“Black is not something we get to choose, but it is something we get to cherish.”
You So Black Book Review
Black communities are experiencing upheaval and eventually, that trickles down to Black children. Author Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. reminds us that to be Black is to be so many things including the President of the United States, a gymnast like Simone Biles, or even a regular person, marching in the street for justice and accountability.
Filled with short sentences that are just as powerful as the beautiful illustrations, You So Black is a love letter to Black people all over the country. It reminds us that we are strong and resilient, that we bring wonder and color to the world, and that every single one of us matters. Generally, the rhyming in the book isn’t overwhelming, it’s a perfect balance of sentences that describe the illustrations on the page.
The illustrations by London Ladd in You So Black and quite different, with muted colors and lots of texture. They amplify the general theme of recognizing Black excellence and I liked how in some cases, it almost looks as if the illustrations were created with cut-out paper or even paper mache. The people displayed in You So Black come in all different shades, and hair textures and include celebrities and regular folks.
You So Black is another book that belongs on the shelves of children especially those who want to celebrate Blackness in its most triumphant form. On sale January 10, 2023 and based on Theresa’s beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, YOU SO BLACK is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness.
Rating 4/5 stars