Library:ADCLP/Black is brown is tan

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Black is brown is tan / by Arnold Adoff ; pictures by Emily Arnold McCully.


The themes of interracial marriage and interracial families are discussed in this picture book. In the story, the father is Caucasian (white), the mother is African-American (black), and their two children are a mixture of both. When the book was first published in 1973, it featured the first interracial family in children’s books.Bright watercolour paintings depict scenes of daily life within the immediate family and with extended family. Adoff’s words are lyrical. She plays with spacing within words and between words, and displays the words without capitalization or punctuation in a visual style that reminds me of e e cummings’ poetry.


Family life, Fiction, Interracial marriage, Rhyming text

Reading Levels

Ages 6 - 8 / Grades 1 - 3

Publication History