The Black Snowman

by Phil Mendez and Carole Byard

Jacob is an angry, bitter city child of color who associates his family's poverty... read more

Jacob is an angry, bitter city child of color who associates his family's poverty with their race. He reluctantly joins his younger brother's efforts to create a snow figure from traffic-dirtied snow. The rag they find in the trash and drape over the snowman is actually colorful West African kente cloth. Its magical powers enable Jacob to envision the dark beauty of his majestic ancient African ancestors about which the snowman tells him. Byard's sweeping, curving lines, her exceptionally well depicted human figures and her selection of luminous blues, gray, black and purple hues add emotional power and depth to the story. Although there's an abundance of child appeal in this long complex story within a story, it also requires a double suspension of disbelief. Honor Book, 1989 CCBC Coretta Scott King Discussion. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1989

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