Cover image for Be boy buzz
Be boy buzz
hooks, bell, 1952-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Celebrates being Bold, All Bliss Boy, All Bad Boy Beast, Boy running, Boy Jumping, Boy Sitting Down, and being in Love With Being a Boy.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Illustrated by Chris Raschka. Famed feminist, social critic and author bell hooks brings us this sparse yet exuberant text that captures the essence and energy of what it means to be a boy, all boy. Chris Raschka's stellar illustrations buzz with a force that is the perfect match for this powerful text. Ages 4-8.

Author Notes

Bell Hooks was born Gloria Watkins on September 25, 1952. She grew up in a small Southern community that gave her a sense of belonging as well as a sense of racial separation. She has degrees from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has served as a noted activist and social critic and has taught at numerous colleges. Hooks uses her great-grandmother's name to write under as a tribute to her ancestors.

Hooks writes daring and controversial works that explore African-American female identities. In works such as Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism and Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, she points out how feminism works for and against black women. Oppressed since slavery, black women must overcome the dual odds of race and gender discrimination to come to terms with equality and self-worth.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-K. In the boys' version of Happy To Be Nappy! (1999), hooks and Raschka use just a few rhythmic words and minimal images to celebrate black is beautiful. The double-page spreads in shades of brown leave lots of space, whether the boy is running and jumping, acting "bad boy beast," or talking way too loud. In one of the most beautiful pages, he is alone with himself, "All think and dream time." The changing black type is part of the joyful beat, and the lapsit audience will want to join in the buzz, point at the pages, and act out the movements and the loving embrace. Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This stunning volume celebrates all things boy. The creators of Happy to Be Nappy set the stage with the bold opening sortie: "I be boy" appears on the left of the spread, paired with a deceptively simple layering of rectangles in blue line that pulsates on the page; opposite, a thoughtful-looking fellow, all elbows and knees slightly bent, seems poised for action. This spare, poetic riff on young manhood plumbs the delights and contradictions of what it means to be a boy particularly an African-American boy in a brief handful of sentences and with a few well-placed pastel lines that imply motion and emotion. From boys soaring ("All bliss boy") to boys sulking ("All bad boy beast" here Raschka conveys the mood with just the right-hand side of a furrowed brow, and two arms seemingly blocking readers from view), at play ("I be boy jumping") and at rest ("all think and dream time"), the words pinpoint boyhood's unflagging energy and exuberance, vulnerability ("Hug me close. Don't let me down") and attitude. Hooks's rhythmic blend of brevity and eloquence launches Raschka's trademark visual haiku. His series of watercolor and pastel portraits set off against a warm cappuccino backdrop conjures fingers and toes, features and squiggles of hair from simple sweeps of his brush, and evokes characters suffused with humanity and tenderness. The graceful design visually balances the spare text, lively portraits and geometric graphics which harmoniously orbit the spreads. This life-affirming book will have readers as much "in love with being a boy" as are its own utterly irresistible characters. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-An alliterative ode to the snips, snails, and puppy-dog tails gender. The syncopated text suits the subject well: "I be boy./All bliss boy./All fine beat./All beau boy." It captures children running, jumping, "talking way too loud," and then, "sitting all quiet still." Brown-skinned boys with long, curving arms and curly hair lope and leap across sienna-colored pages; bright squiggles of scribbled design add a geometric counterpoint to the flowing lines of kids with big, open hearts and sweet minds, ready for the world. A wonderful collaboration, this book is as exuberant as the boys it describes.-Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.