My skin your skin by Laura Henry-Allain Mbe. Illus. by Onyinye Iwu

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My Skin Your Skin is a brightly coloured and beautifully illustrated book which deals with in detail, the disturbing topic of racism. Written by an international award-winning early education specialist writer and children’s media creator, it provides the perfect resource for adults to share with children. The content of the book will lead to honest answers from children to the questions posed throughout, as well as powerful discussions. The book begins with a double page discussing how we are all different in skin colour, size, physical features, religious beliefs and family structures. It then goes on to explain the words race and culture. After this comes an explanation of racism with clearly presented dot points as well as large bold declarations such as ‘Racism is WRONG’ and ‘It is NEVER OK to be racist.’ Following on from this are pages devoted to discussing various scenarios of racism with detailed drawings and simple statements that children will be able to identify with. Further into the book is perhaps the most telling phrase “We are all born with beautiful skin. We are not born racist.” It is then explained how children learn to be racist. The book does provide thoughtful strategies to help children become anti-racist and speak up for others if they see racism occurring. In the final pages there is a glossary, some more questions for consideration plus an important note for the adults reading the book.

This book will be a valuable resource for both schools and public libraries.

Themes: Race, Racism, Differences.

Kathryn Beilby