chocolate me

Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

The main character of the book, who goes unnamed, is teased because he is different than the other boys in the neighborhood.  Compared to the white kids, his skin is darker, his hair more poofy, his nose is wider, and his teeth shine brighter.  He returns home in tears, because he wants to fit in.  His mother talks to him, telling him how special he is and how perfect he is.  She tells him that his skin is like “velvet fudge frosting mixed in a bowl.”  She gives him a t-shirt that says “Chocolate me!” and he starts to rethink things as do the other kids.

The focus of this book is self-acceptance and self-love.  The universal theme of trying to fit in and feeling different than others will speak to all children.  Diggs writes with a smoothness and natural rhythm.  The book reads as confident poetry, though it does not rhyme.  Evans’ illustrations have a great organic feel as well.  They are bright colored, rough lined, and filled with motion. 

Share this with a group of children discussing self-esteem or diversity.  It will also be one of those books that children pick off the shelves thanks to the sunshine bright cover.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Feiwel and Friends.