Sam Grace's Reviews > Black, White, Just Right!

Black, White, Just Right! by Marguerite W. Davol
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's review
Mar 16, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: poc, pretty-pictures, african-american, children-african-and-afroamerican

I did not like this book. The illustrations were good, and the rhymes fine, and I should have known before I opened it. The whole idea of this book is that the little girl is perfect because she's got some of her mother's traits and some of her father's. I'm sure that the idea is to build up biracial kids' self-esteem who feel they don't belong anywhere. And yet, the premise totally ignores what actually contributes to these issues. The book pretends to be colorblind in every way but physical traits. The author highlights that Mommy (black) does ballet and Daddy (white) dances to hip-hop. And while it very well may be true of the family of the author, this is NOT a story I would want to pass on.

I think there's a degree to which just being black is not good enough here. It's not the intended point, of course, but that's the problem with pretending like being white and being black are socially the same in the U.S. And erasing cultural differences only makes it worse.

I suspect that many people reading this book would disagree with me. I suspect that there are plenty of others who would read this, see the same problems, and express them much better. But here's my thoughts.

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