Tar Beach
Tar Beach

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Annotation: A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt painting of the same name.
Catalog Number: #292653
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Teaching Materials Receive a FREE Teacher's Guide for this title with a purchase of 20 or more copies of this book. You do not need to add a copy of the Teacher's Guide to your list, it will be automatically included with your order after the minimum number of copies is ordered.
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition Date: 1996
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-517-88544-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-5854-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-517-88544-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-5854-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 90040410
Dimensions: 32 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
The book - originally created as a story quilt - recounts the dream adventures of eight-year-old Cassie, who flies above her apartment rooftop looking down on 1939 Harlem. A stunningly beautiful book.
Publishers Weekly
A girl uses her imagination to soar from the """"tar beach"""" roof of her family's Harlem home. """"Ringgold's strong figures and flattened perspective bring a distinctive magic to this dreamy and yet wonderfully concrete vision,"""" said PW. All ages. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up--Tar Beach is a work of modern art translated into a children's picture book, and the adaptation is so natural that it seems inevitable. From her 1988 story quilt, reproduced on the cover and within the last pages of the book, Ringgold has taken both the setting and the text. The painted scene in the center of the quilt shows a Harlem rooftop on a starry night with four adults playing cards and with Cassie Louise Lightfoot and her brother, Be Be, lying on a blanket gazing at the sky. Cassie sees herself flying over the city lights; dreams of wearing the George Washington Bridge as a necklace; imagines giving her father the union building he is not allowed to join because of his half-black, half-Indian heritage; flies over the ice cream factory; and takes her little brother with her to the sky. Cassie's story, written along the borders of the quilt in tiny script, becomes the text of the book. The illustrations painted for the book version are done in the same colorful, naive style as the quilt. This type of art translates beautifully into the storybook format, and a border of bright fabric designs on the bottom of each page duplicates the material used in the quilt. In capturing the euphoria of a child's dreams, and in its gentle reminder of the social injustices of the adult world, the book is both universal and contemporary. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 1 Up--Tar Beach is a work of modern art translated into a children's picture book, and the adaptation is so natural that it seems inevitable. From her 1988 story quilt, reproduced on the cover and within the last pages of the book, Ringgold has taken both the setting and the text. The painted scene in the center of the quilt shows a Harlem rooftop on a starry night with four adults playing cards and with Cassie Louise Lightfoot and her brother, Be Be, lying on a blanket gazing at the sky. Cassie sees herself flying over the city lights; dreams of wearing the George Washington Bridge as a necklace; imagines giving her father the union building he is not allowed to join because of his half-black, half-Indian heritage; flies over the ice cream factory; and takes her little brother with her to the sky. Cassie's story, written along the borders of the quilt in tiny script, becomes the text of the book. The illustrations painted for the book version are done in the same colorful, naive style as the quilt. This type of art translates beautifully into the storybook format, and a border of bright fabric designs on the bottom of each page duplicates the material used in the quilt. In capturing the euphoria of a child's dreams, and in its gentle reminder of the social injustices of the adult world, the book is both universal and contemporary. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Word Count: 503
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 6144 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.9 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q11252
Lexile: AD660L
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one's world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book."--(starred) Horn Book.  


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