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Tar Beach

by Faith Ringgold

Published by Crown, 1991
32 pages
ISBN: 0-517-58030-6

Ages 5 - 11

In one of the most visually exciting books to appear in a long time, artist Faith Ringgold has created a picture book based on her story quilt, "Tar Beach." Eight-year-old Cassie Lightfoot and her baby brother Be Be lie stretched out on a mattress on the rooftop of their Harlem apartment while her parents play cards with their next-door neighbors. During that magical time that comes between wakefulness and sleep, the adult conversation blends into Cassie's daydream as she envisions herself flying high above the city, claiming that she owns it all and can change anything to make life come out the way she wants it to be. Ringgold's boldly imaginative acrylic paintings brilliantly capture the power of a child's soaring imagination on the twilight edge of dreams. Set in 1939, TAR BEACH succeeds as an appealing story for children illustrated with fine art, an astute societal commentary and a new variation on a traditional African-American liberation motif. Winner, 1991 CCBC Coretta Scott King Discussion for Illustration/Honor Book, 1991 CCBC Caldecott Discussion. CCBC categories: Picture Books; The Arts; History, People And Places. 1991, Crown Publishers, 32 pages, $14.95. Ages 5-11.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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