Coretta Scott King Award–winner Ashley Bryan's adaptation of a tale from the Ila-speaking people of Zambia resonates both with rhythm and the tale's universal meanings: appreciating one's heritage and discovering the beauty within. His cut-paper illustrations are a joy. The story takes place long ago. Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were so envious that they begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful, too. Although Blackbird warns them that true beauty comes from within, the other birds persist, and soon each is given a ring of black around the neck or a dot of black on the wings—markings that detail birds to this day.
Hard cover, 40 pages
Atheneum Book for Young Readers (2003)
10.8" x 9.8" x 0.3"