Beautiful Blackbird

Book Summary: 

Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, were so envious that they begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful too. Although Black-bird warns them that true beauty comes from within, the other birds persist and soon each is given a ring of black around their neck or a dot of black on their wings, markings that detail birds to this very day. 

Ashley Bryan
Ashley Bryan
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Guiding Question: 

While reading this book, pay special attention to the images, what makes each bird (person) unique?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- Many people are often judged by the way they look without people paying attention to the beauty of the person on the inside.  This includes many people being judged by what race they are.

Empathy- Have you ever been judged by the way you look or the way you are?  Did this affect you? How do you think people who are “different” feel everyday?

Advocacy-As a group talk about ways that you can make sure that you aren’t judging a person by the way they look or due simply to what their race is.  How can you help stand up for people who are judged due to what their race is?

Action- We need to make sure that everyone feels comfortable in their own skin.  Discuss ways that you can compliment people throughout your day that will boost people’s confidence.


Reviewed by Emily Wilson, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate