Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Review - Magnificent Homespun Brown

Magnificent Homespun Brown
by Samara Cole Doyon
illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
Date: 2020
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

If Walt Whitman were reborn as a vibrant young woman of color, this is the book he might write. America, we hear you singing! With vivid illustrations by Kaylani Juanita, Samara Cole Doyon sings a carol for the plenitude that surrounds us and the self each of us is meant to inhabit.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Amber brown.
Like honey harvested from the hive in Auntie's yard.
A sacred, healing elixir, a balm for beleaguered
voices and aching throats,
born from the billowing bustle of industrious
bees, stretching into a soft, squiggly line as it
slips from the spigot to the bottle.

This is yet another picture book for adults disguised as one for children.

Were I to have viewed it as something aimed at adults, I probably would've liked it better. The words are evocative, and I like the way each flowery description of a shade of brown is tied back to the little girl narrating the story. But the vocabulary is just too much, and I don't know how many kids would sit through something that's so wordy.

The pictures are cute and really highlight the text nicely. But, again, there's that mismatch with the audience. Kids might enjoy looking at the illustrations, but are they really going to want to sit and listen to what is, essentially, a really long free-verse poem?

If this were aimed at adults, I might've given it a higher rating. But I just can't see this appealing to children.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tilbury House Publishers for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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