Cover image for Magnificent Homespun Brown : A Celebration
Magnificent Homespun Brown : A Celebration

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With vivid illustrations by Kaylani Juanita, SamaraCole Doyon sings a carol for the plenitude that surrounds us and the self eachof us is meant to inhabit.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3--This book is a joyful ode to the color brown. Several brown girls are presented across the pages as they share how the hue is featured in their lives. In a repeating pattern, Doyon first describes each kind of brown (feathery, amber, radiant, cozy, thundering, etc.) with descriptions of time spent with family and friends, from cocoa-sipping winter days to peaceful hikes in the woods. Then she presents a simple simile: "Radiant brown…like my skin." The text itself is a poem which dances playfully on the tongue when read aloud, featuring just the right amount of alliteration, a wide range of unusual vocabulary, and vibrant imagery. Juanita's illustrations are a celebration of these girls, using all shades of brown and many warm colors on a light yellow background. She gives particular care to the details that make the girls seem very real: fun hair clips, bandage-adorned skin, and patterns on clothes. They are an active bunch, leaping into piles of leaves and pirouetting on roller blades. While all characters are brown, there is a diverse cast, including a family member who uses a wheelchair and several characters wearing hijab. VERDICT Whether this delightful book is a mirror or a window for a child, it is a must-read for its celebration of love for oneself and one's family.--Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA

Kirkus Review

A series of young brown girls admire the many different browns in their environments and in their own images in this poetic celebration of self and nature."Deep secret brown. / Like the subtly churning river currents / playfully beckoning me / through my grandmother's kitchen window." A girl gazes, smiling, out the window at a scene of the natural world. On the next spread, a close-up of a bespectacled girl's face is accompanied by the line, "Deep secret brownlike my eyes." Another girl admires the "feathery brown" of tree shadows on a hike with her daddy and then the "feathery brown" of her eyelashes. Still another tastes the "amber brown" of honey from her aunt's hive and admires the "amber brown" of her own hair. Each girl is featured with family members or friends, relating to nature, and on her own having fun or in a reflective moment. The text of the poem is delightfully filled with rich imagery and luscious language, complex enough to grow into but familiar enough to enjoy at any age. Juanita's earth-toned illustrations are joyful and remarkably inclusive. The girls and their friends and family wear a variety of hairstyles; there are characters in hijabs, one with vitiligo, a child in a wheelchair, and an adult without a hand. Readers may find themselves wondering whether this is the same girl in many aspects or manyand then contemplating their own multifaceted natures.This "celebration" makes magic out of the everyday joys of being in the world. (Picture book. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.