Author Sarah Thomson was inspired to write this lyrical children’s book when she “noticed how many picture books celebrating color fail to mention brown and black—two of the loveliest and most prevalent colors in the world.”
Illustrator Keith Mallett’s spirited artwork makes Thomson’s celebration of the colors brown and black leap off the page: a young girl runs and jumps with her brown puppy through piles of autumn leaves; she watches a black raven in flight; she walks along a path of trampled down soil; she delights in black milkweed seeds as they are blown about by the wind; and she is embraced by her loving father, with the same melanated beauty she exhibits.
Thompson and Mallet join forces to proclaim that brown and black are beautiful in a culture where these colors have often been ignored or given negative connotations: “Brown is safe ... / when your hand / holds mine. / Black is deep ... / when your eyes meet mine. / Brown is warm ... / soft and breathing, / curled up next to me. / Black is quiet ... / as a kiss ... / when my dreams begin.” (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)