Shades of People

Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

The beauty of different shades of skin is celebrated in this picture book.  One evocative word after another is used: coffee, cocoa, copper, ivory, bronze.  And more common words too like brown, pale, dark and light.  The book talks about different colors within families, and the problems with color choice when trying to paint skin.  It is a joyous celebration of diversity, ourselves, and humanity. 

Rotner’s photographs here are such a joy.  They have interesting composition, clarity, bright color, and of course a diverse group of subjects.  Each child is celebrated for their own unique beauty and the photographs capture that well.  The text is simple, but important, as it muses about the different colors we all come in.  Nicely done without rhyme, instead it allows readers to think, exploring the photographs and finding themselves on the page.

Highly recommended, this book belongs in every public library.  Every child you serve will see themselves on the pages, a very powerful message for children of all races and colors.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from library copy.