Brown-skinned momma, the color of chocolate milk and coffee pumpkin pie, whose face gets ginger red when she puffs and yells the children into bed. White-skinned daddy, not white like milk or snow, lighter than brown, With pinks and tiny tans, whose face gets tomato red when he puffs and yells their children into bed. Children who are all the colors of the race, growing up happy in a house full of love. This is the way it is for them; this is the way they are, but the joy they feel extends to every reader of this book.
Black is brown is tan is a story poem about being, a beautiful true song about a family delighting in each other and in the good things of the earth.
Arnold Adoff has written over twenty-five books of poetry for young readers, including Slow Dance Heartbreak Blues, illustrated by William Cotton; and Street Music: City Poems, illustrated by Karen Barbour, both of which are available at your local library. He is the author of Malcolm X, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, and has also edited The Poetry of Black America. He has received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, and his trademark "shaped speech" writing style and his rhythmic poems have made him one of the most renowned children's poets of our time.
Mr. Adoff and his wife, celebrated author Virginia Hamilton, live in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Emily Arnold McCully has illustrated more than a hundred books for children, including her own First Snow and Arnold Adoff's Black Is Brown Is Tan. She won the Caldecott Medal for her book Mirette On the High Wire.