Tan to Tamarind: Poems About the Color Brown

Iyengar, Malathi Michelle

Published by Children's Book Press
ISBN 10: 0892392274 / ISBN 13: 9780892392278
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Synopsis: In Tan to Tamarind, poet Malathi Michelle Iyengar asks young readers this question: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Through her colorful poetry she travels the rich spectrum of shades within the color brown, from swirls of henna decorating ochre hands and feet at an Indian wedding to cinnamon lips smiling over a cup of café con leche to leaves drifting like stars onto upturned russet faces in the fall. The poetry, along with Jamel Akib's pastel illustrations, encourages young ones to embrace each other's differences while building self-esteem and a healthy self-image.

From Booklist: Brown is beautiful in all its shades of skin color and in what children see, feel, taste, smell, and touch everywhere. Illustrated with pastel pictures in warm autumn colors, both dark and light, the simple poems celebrate the diversity and the connections in nature, culture, place, and language among blacks, Latinos, Indians, Native Americans, and many mixed-race kids. All the names for brown—from tan and sienna to honey, beige, and ocher—show the wonder of the senses: the tastiness of cocoa (the dark, sweet chocolate of the drink and of the hands that hold the cup), the crunchiness of autumn leaves, the big view of reddish-brown rocks and mountains in the Southwest, the brown topaz stone on the ring finger of a mother’s brown hand. The joyful graphic details range from the ocher-brown mehendi design on an Indian bride’s hands to an adobe home on the windswept desert. In a note, Iyengar remembers hating her brown skin as a child; her book shows how lucky she feels now. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman

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Title: Tan to Tamarind: Poems About the Color Brown
Publisher: Children's Book Press
Book Condition: Very Good

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Malathi Michelle Iyengar; Illustrator-Jamel Akib
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