Synopses & Reviews
Illustrated 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 Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture.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." Horn Book (Starred Review)
“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.” School Library Journal
"Ringgold's strong figures and flattened perspective bring a distinctive magic to this dreamy and yet wonderfully concrete vision, narrated in poetic cadences that capture the language and feel of flight.” Publishers Weekly
CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD WINNER - CALDECOTT HONOR BOOK - A NEW YORK TIMES BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK
Acclaimed artist Faith Ringgold seamless weaves fiction, autobiography, and African American history into a magical story that resonates with the universal wish for freedom, and will be cherised for generations.
Cassie Louise Lightfoot has a dream: to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on "tar beach," the rooftop of her family's Harlem apartment building, her dreams come true. The stars lift her up, and she flies over the city, claiming the buildings and the city as her own.
As Cassie learns, anyone can fly. "All you need is somewhere to go you can't get to any other way. The next thing you know, you're flying among the stars."
About the Author
Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem, but now divides her time between New Jersey and La Jolla, California. She is a professor of fine art at the University of California at San Diego, where she teaches for half of the year.
An artist of international renown, Faith is best known for her story quilts — works that combine painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling.
Faiths first book for children, Tar Beach, was a Caldecott Honor Book, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, a Reading Rainbow featured selection, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and the recipient of numerous other honors, including a Parents Choice Gold Award.
Faith is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara, and three granddaughters, Faith, Teddy and Martha.