Tuesday 3 August 2021

BLACK AND WHITE by David Macaulay. Reviewed by Sharon Tregenza



This unique picture book starts with a warning:

This book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. Then again it may contain only one story. In any event, careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended.

It was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1990 and I first read it then -it's still one of my all time favourites.

You need to be a story detective to disentangle the separate plots (or is it really one plot) and its ingenious structure works equally well for adults and children. Pages are divided into parts and you can follow each thread through the book as now and then a part of one story crosses over into another. 

 Macauley is an excellent illustrator and the images carry the story and create a stunning visual display. They're the heart of the book. I'm sure it could start many interesting dialogues with children as they pick out their own conclusions.

It won the Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children's book in 1991 and I think it's one of the most worthy winners of that award.

If you enjoy the unusual, books that stretch your mind and twist perceptions, you'll love 'Black and White' too.  

Author - illustrator David Macaulay

 Email: sharontregenza@gmail.com



Anne Booth said...

That sounds like a fascinating book. Thank you for telling us about it.

Nick Garlick said...

Never heard of this book. As Anne says, it sounds fascinating. I'm ordering a copy now.

Sharon Tregenza said...

It's excellent. So different. So creative.