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“Brown is brown, right?” asks Lena. Lena’s mother is an artist, and together they discover the beauty in all the skin tones of their friends and family through paint colors and descriptive words.

This popular book by Karen Katz helps children celebrate different skin colors through wonderful illustrations and a touching story. It falls short of truly encouraging diversity and understanding by falling back on tired stereotypes.

“The Color of Us” is a good introductory read for ages 3-6, but we recommend supplementation with other books that dig deeper.

Options include:

  1. “One Green Apple” by Eve Bunting, the story of a Muslim immigrant who goes on a field trip with her class
  2. “Round is a Mooncake” by Roseanne Thong, which follows a Chinese-American girl as she discovers culture¬†through shapes
  3. “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss, a classic story that teaches about tolerance
  4. “Two Mrs. Gibsons” by Toyomi Igus, about a girl with a Japanese mother and an African-American grandmother
  5. “Ramadan Moon” by Na’ima Robert, which helps explain the wonder of Ramadan to people from all cultures
  6. “The Sandwich Swap” by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Kelly DiPucchio, a story of two friends who are unfamiliar with foods from each other’s cultures
  7. “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, a strong and clear introduction to discussions about the civil rights movement
(written with contributions from Holly Burns, Preschool Programs Coordinator)