Opinion
Curriculum Book Review

For Young Readers

By Judy Freeman — September 01, 1991 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Black And White

by David Macaulay (Houghton Mifflin, $14.95.)

The other day, a 1st grade teacher, waving a copy of the 1991 Caldecott Medal winner, flagged me down in the library. “This book,” she said, “has me completely baffled!” That’s how I felt, too, on my first dozen readings, as I pored over the four-paneled pages. Then I read it aloud to several 1st through 3rd grade classes, and they unlocked the magic for me. Each of the panels holds a continuing tale, illustrated in a well-chosen style that reflects its mood; the quartet is interconnected, though not by any readily apparent sequence. After showing the title page, which depicts a jailbreak, I read aloud the story titles. I urged the students to look for any connecting threads in the illustrations, and then showed them each page without reading it. The stories involve a boy on a train, a boy and dog playing with a model train, a train station full of newspaper-folding commuters, and a robber camouflaged by Holstein cows. Students grew animated and then frenzied as they spotted dozens of sly visual jokes and coincidences that I had missed. Finally, I returned to the beginning and read each page aloud, top to bottom, and the discussion continued as children found still more connections. I have never seen a book provoke such a response. Listeners discussed the story sequences for days afterward. That the writing is sometimes forced and overly arch is of no importance; the puzzlelike tale of an escaped robber’s real—or imagined—rendezvous with a commuter train is one that will draw your class together.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 1991 edition of Teacher

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum From Our Research Center Privacy, Porn, and Parents in the Room: Sex Education's Pandemic Challenges
After more than a year of instructional shifts and social isolation, students need sex education that is media-savvy and relationship-wise.
7 min read
Conceptual image of students feeling isolated, but also trying to connect.
Mary Haasdyk for Education Week
Curriculum Calls to Ban Books by Black Authors Are Increasing Amid Critical Race Theory Debates
Books about race and the experiences of Black Americans are being challenged by parents who claim they make white children feel uncomfortable.
8 min read
Fans of Angie Thomas, a Jackson, Miss., resident whose book, "The Hate U Give," has been on a national young adult best-seller list for over 80 weeks, show off their copies at a reception and book signing for the author, in Jackson on Oct. 10, 2018. Thomas' novel has crossed over to a wider audience than simply young adults. The reception honored her writing as well as the coming release of the big screen adaption of the first novel.
The young adult best-seller "The Hate U Give" was one of the top 10 most challenged books of 2020.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Curriculum District That Banned Diverse Books Reverses Its Decision After Pushback
A Pennsylvania district voted unanimously to reinstate a four-page list of resources from some of today's most acclaimed creators of color.
Tina Locurto, The York Dispatch, Pa.
3 min read
Image of books on a library shelf.
iStock/Getty
Curriculum He Taught About White Privilege and Got Fired. Now He's Fighting to Get His Job Back
Matthew Hawn is an early casualty in this year's fight over how teachers can discuss with students America's struggle with racism.
13 min read
Social studies teacher Matthew Hawn is accused of insubordination and repeated unprofessional conduct for sharing Kyla Jenèe Lacey's, 'White Privilege', poem with his Contemporary Issues class. Hawn sits on his couch inside his home on August 17, 2021.
Matthew Hawn is accused of insubordination and repeated unprofessional conduct for lessons and materials he used to teach about racism and white privilege in his Contemporary Issues class at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn.<br/>
Caitlin Penna for Education Week