As Black History Month continues, and as we strive to include the work of Black authors and illustrators in our curriculum year round, I encourage all teachers, families, and kids to find a moment to explore Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon.
As readers navigate the first few pages of this beautiful book, a pattern emerges: Every other spread introduces the reader to a new protagonist. Doyon uses beautiful imagery to describe a particular shade of brown, then crafts a simile to connect that shade to each young girl.
The beautiful illustrations by Kaylani Juanita bring Doyon’s poetry to life, and the words themselves are ones readers will want to linger on.
When I read this book to my third graders, they were struck by the beautiful craft moves both Doyon and Juanita employ. As soon as we finished reading, students shared how much the book used a grateful and excited tone throughout.
The subtitle of Magnificent Homespun Brown is “A Celebration.” That theme is apparent to readers throughout the text, and it’s part of what makes the book so magical. This book deserves a place on all classroom bookshelves, and all home bookshelves, too. There is so much to celebrate about the color brown!
Teachers and grown-ups may enjoy listening to Matthew Winner’s interview with Samara Cole Doyon and Kaylani Juanita from The Children’s Book Podcast.