Children’s Book Review: You So Black by Theresa the S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.

Posted January 10, 2023 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Children's Books / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from Hear Our Voices Book Tours & the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Children’s Book Review: You So Black by Theresa the S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.You So Black by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.
Published by Simon and Schuster on January 10, 2023
five-stars
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American & Black, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
Source: Hear Our Voices Book Tours & the publisher
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Goodreads

Based on Theresa Wilson’s (a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.’s) beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, You So Black is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness.

Black is everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone—in the night sky and the fertile soil below. It’s in familial connections and invention, in hands lifted in praise and voices lifted in protest, and in hearts wide open and filled with love. Black is good.

Accompanied by powerful yet tender illustrations by award-winning illustrator London Ladd, Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. has adapted her poem, full of gorgeous lyricism and imagery, to show readers the love, joy, resilience, and universality in the beauty of Blackness.

You SO Black Book Cover

Happy Book Birthday to You So Black by Theresa the S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., illustrated by London Ladd!!!!

It is my honor to host a book tour stop today for You So Black for Hear Our Voices Book Tours

Review:

If you are looking for a book to kick off Black History Month, this is it baby! This beautifully illustrated ode to Blackness as Beautiful is an amazing treasure. This book takes the beginning of a dirty dozens insult and absolutely flips it on its head with beautiful images and language to describe how beautiful, important and strong our Blackness is. 

This book began as a poem performed in February 2019 at the Trumpet Awards by Theresa the S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.. London Ladd takes Theresa’s words and creates the most beautiful illustrations full of color. This book has exquisite and elegant imagery that showcase the beauty of being Black. 

This is one of my new favorites and I hope many will use it as a read aloud for years to come! It’s a great read from preschool to high school to adults. 

About the Author

Author

THERESA THA S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. (she/her/hers) is a Grammy-nominated musical, lyrical and theatrical alchemist, sprinkling magic like hot sauce. She is best known for her appearance on the 2019 Trumpet Awards on Bounce TV, and the now viral recitation of “You So Black,” which has garnered 11 million views and counting. She has gone on to perform with the likes of Jill Scott, MC Lyte, and Jazmine Sullivan, and appears on famed pianist Robert Glasper’s newest album. Theresa is from the south suburbs of Chicago but calls Atlanta home. She holds a degree in commercial music from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

About the Illustrator

London Ladd

LONDON LADD (he/him/his) is a graduate of Syracuse University with an MFA in illustration. He uses a unique mixed media approach, combining cut paper textured with acrylic paint, tissue paper and colored pencil to bring his diverse subjects to life. London’s artwork is steeped in intensity and emotion, a reflection of the artist himself. His hope is that You So Black will be passed down through generations, reaffirming African Americans’ strength, beauty, power and love. His goal is to open a visual arts community center where lower-income families can create their own art. He is also the illustrator of My Red, White, and Blue, Black Gold, Under the Freedom Tree, American Anthem, Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving, Frederick’s Journey:
The Life of Frederick Douglass, Midnight Teacher, Waiting for Pumpsie, Oprah: The Little Speaker, and March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. His portrait “Breonna Taylor, Remember Her Name!” was published in Recognize! An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life. London lives in Syracuse, New York.

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