04 February 2020
I was fully prepared to write about the pseudo-psychological support for publishing and pairing poetic content with monochromatic illustrations. If you choose to purchase By the Light of the Night, you will see pedagogical justification for poetry-based narratives and black and white design, referenced on the copyright page of the book. I’ll spare you my assertions, or more aptly affirmed, my pitch, for why we chose to illustrate with simplicity.
Likewise, my thoughts for this blog were originally scripted to generate interest in the manner in which children experience literary unity and harmony. The textures, shapes and patterns of this book are predictable and balanced, encouraging young listeners and readers to anticipate and champion character interactions.
Today, however, affirmation replaced assertion through the color-blind eyes of my newly assigned language arts student, David. In attempt to prepare my eleventh graders for a state-mandated assessment, I distributed a 50-question reading challenge; David finished quickly. I collected his work, and commented on his art composition book. In that moment, he was perfecting a black and white sketch of an eye; the representation was powerful, and unmistakably, metaphorical. I asked David if he enjoyed drawing in black and white; he replied, “I don’t have a choice. I’m color-blind.”
Teachers "shouldn’t" cry in class. We are trained, and then accustomed, to regard the saddest of stories with poise. David’s story though, isn’t sad. The focus of his illustration was carefully consigned for our conversation. He loves black and white graphics; he "gets" them! I started to talk about my book, and something happened. The depth of his black and white reality brought immense color to mine. Only for a moment did I hold back tears.
David asked for a signed copy of By the Light of the Night: the highest of compliments.
Human nature inherently seeks admiration, and hopes to find cause for celebration...
Celebrating a truly teachable moment ~