Monday, February 6, 2017

Reading with the Baby: Shades of Black

Source: Purchased from the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum

 Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney
Genre: Children's Books, Picture Books, Board Books, Culture
Illustrator: Miles C. Pinkney
Buy it: Amazon

I am Black / I am Unique / I am the creamy white frost in vanilla ice cream / and the milky smooth brown in a chocolate bar...
Using simple poetic language and stunning photographs, Sandra and Myles Pinkney have created a remarkable book of affirmation for African-American children. Photographic portraits and striking descriptions of varied skin tones, hair texture, and eye color convey a strong sense of pride in a unique heritage. A joyous celebration of the rich diversity among African-Americans.
Now that I've got Baby J, I've re-entered the world of children's books.  Baby J doesn't love reading time :( but I'm loving some of these books and I want to share some of our finds.  Any recommendations are appreciated!

Hubby and I went to the Civil Rights in Museum in Birmingham and discovered this book.  I had to grab it to add to Baby J's bookshelf.  He might be too young to understand but we see lots of questions from him (and others) in the future.  My hubby was always asked the question, "So...what are you?" and he was always very frustrated by the questions and others were always confused by his answer.

I love love LOVE this book!  The pictures are photographs and even I was surprised--and delighted--at the diversity.  The words are simple and encourages acceptance.  I felt the goal was to normalize differences and I think this could help all children regardless of race.  There is another book by this author called "I am Latino: The Beauty in Me."  Even though Baby J isn't Latino, I think it would be a great conversation starter about diversity and acceptance.  Plus, I want to avoid embarrassing questions from inquisitive toddlers as much as I can.

Are there any other children's books that emphasize acceptance that I should add to our bookshelf?  Let me know!
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  1. This sounds like a great addition to any little one's bookshelf! I'll have to check it out. I got my boys All the Colors We Are last summer. I really like it!

    My oldest didn't like reading until he was around 13 months. Then he LOVED it and still does. My youngest is 14 months and still won't sit still for a book for very long.

    1. I added it to my Amazon cart! Thanks for the recommendation. Baby J is 21 months and still not loving reading time. He loves books, but doesn't want me to read to him. He is a bossy baby.

  2. Is baby J interracial? I had a long talk with the hubs about our hypothetical child and how s/he'll identify. Great start!

    1. He isn't technically interracial, but he has a skin tone closer to his father's and he's got fine curly hair. My hubby has curly hair that never got a kinky textures so Baby J's might stay that way. My husband is of creole descent on both sides. I found people were more confused when he said he wasn't mixed with anything but yet could pass for just about every culture but black. Everybody was frustrated and confused, including my husband when he was younger. I'm hoping to handle that head on especially since I have a much darker skin tone.

      I realized it was going to be an issue early on because many people were speculating about his skin tone right after he was born. And we get lots of comments already.

      So that's a really long answer to say that I've been hurt by the comments so I can only imagine how a young kid would feel.


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