BOOK: THE COLORS OF US
AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR: KAREN KATZ
PUBLISHER: SQUARE FISH
AGE RECOMMENDED: 4+
Born and raised in India, I always heard people saying, hey, she looks so black or she looks so white. Never have I heard them say she looks brown. The irony is that the said person would be in the same colour and would comment on others. I usually think why this much discrimination and why wouldn’t people embrace the different shades of brown. What I think is, lack of exposure and not much diversity talks happening inside the family. But when we have the right conversation with our children, we can at least change the talk about their generalized skin colour and embrace the different shades of brown. I felt very good reading the following book to Nathan and we discussed not calling any person by any colour by their skin shade.
The colours of Us begins with a young girl, Lena, asking her mother for brown paint to paint a picture. When her mother asked what shade of brown? She’s puzzled and says, mom, brown is brown. Her mother says, there are lots of different shades of brown and they take a walk around their neighbourhood. Her mom talks about different skin tones, that are in different shades of brown. She compares each skin tone with food colour, like, cinnamon, french toast, peanut butter, chocolate brown, honey, butterscotch, pizza crust, cocoa brown, coffee toffee.
These examples helped Lena to see that every individual is made of their own skin tone and that it creates the beauty of the world. The first step in teaching diversity begins at home. I wouldn’t add any age preference to this book, as anyone can read this book at any age and educate themselves accordingly. A staple book to be added to every child’s bookshelf.
Let’s change the next generation without any discrimination of skin colour.
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