Shades of Black

This is one of my favorite books. Both the photos and the text deliciously draw you in. Children with skin tones ranging from very dark to very light are all included.

Shades of Black cover

One editorial review states:

Originally published as a picture book, this book won the Pinkney’s many accolades and awards for their affirmative message. Now offered as a board book, this book will let even younger children enjoy looking at the delightful photographs of African-American kids.
What many may find startling is that the kids shown in the book range from dark ebony to almost white and every shade in between. Hair color and texture and eye color are all the things that make us different and also alike. The photographs are engaging and the message is clear—it really does not matter what color you are, you are still beautiful. I really loved some of the descriptions and comparisons: “I am the creamy white frost in vanilla ice cream,” comes from a light-skinned African-American boy and his sister enjoying a vanilla ice cream cone. The text and picture on the opposite page feature a dark-skinned boy eating chocolate and the text describes him as “the milky smooth brown in a chocolate bar.” Using food as colors to compare against skin tones is really clever; Sandra Pinkney also compares hair to wool and grass and eyes to a variety of stones. A wonderful book for any home, school or public library. .
2006 (orig. 2000), Cartwheel/Scholastic, Ages 1 to 6. Marilyn Courtot — Children’s Literature

It can probably be found in most public libraries but if you have children of African descent in your home, it is definitely a keeper to have in your own personal library.


1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Transracial Adoption

One response to “Shades of Black

  1. Love this book! That is where I got my daughter’s gingery brown description that I commented with on your prevous post :).

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