BLACK IS A RAINBOW COLOR (Roaring Brook Press, 2020) is a vibrant, joyful celebration of black culture, heritage, and heroes. Written in lyrical text, the narrative subtly shifts from concrete black objects, like crayons and braids, to black culture and significant events in history. With well placed quotes and references throughout the text, Joy gives ingenious nods to black writers, artists, and poets who came before her. Both the text and the rich, dynamic art by Ekua Holmes brim with symbolism, making this the kind of book children will pour over time and again. For readers who want more, interesting backmatter explains references in the text and provides background.
I have read WHEN YOU NEED WINGS (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2020) to young kids, to middle school students, and to adults. In all these readings, I sensed my audience quiet down even before we reached the title page. I heard them listen, connect, and unwind. And time and again, I caught the eye of listeners whose faces said, "This is me!" The combination of Lita Judge's playful, yet emotive watercolor art, and her sparse, lyrical text connects with her audience's heart. WHEN YOU NEED WINGS reassures in a time when young readers need comfort. It affirms, strengthens, and builds confidence. And makes us reach deep for our own wings. Click here for the book trailer. To learn more about Lita Judge, visit her website at litajudge.me/