cbr14bingo Elephant Level 2 & 3
Unfortunately, there is a large elephant in The Talk. One that is so large that we never actually hear what it is, but is as plain as the trunk on its face. It is The Talk black families will give to their sons when they start reaching certain milestones. The milestones that make other people look at them, but not in a positive way. And I am sadly sure that Alicia D. Williams and Briana Mukodiri Uchendu have given this talk, or even seen their brothers have it, or heard from friends.
The talk is about racism. The talk is about the challenges they will face as they grow. The talk, however, is not just one time, but many little times. Do not take your hands off the wheel of the car if you are pulled over. Do not put your hands in your pockets unless you are in an open space. And even the stories a beloved grandfather tells are no longer fun and carefree. They warn do not gather in groups more than four. But all Jay wants to do is hang out with his friends and have fun.
The somberness, yet a hopefulness happens over that, is richly illustrated. That hopefulness comes from the love of his family and the hope at the end. The colors are deep, detailed and recalls a classic feel (Ezra Jack Keats) but modern as well. The images are soft, but solid, smooth but do not shy from the truth. The images, especially the page near the end, boldly shows the not beautiful side of things; what The Talk is all about.
This is an odd subject for a picture book, but it is presented in an appropriate manner for most ages.