A note from the author:
The book has been inspired by my four year old daughter, who got me started when she was only 3. She had just began identifying colors, and one day out of the blue asked me why is her skin color brown and why do some people have different skin color. I was stunned, not only by having this preschooler making me stop to think of a politically correct answer, but by the level of her intelligence. She has always been a very verbal toddler, she did everything early, her ABCs, count, etc. but nonetheless, I was caught off guard and needed to communicate to her in a manner that made it very easy for her to understand. Even though I am armed with a Master's Degree in Sociology, I felt the pressure to answer the question as a mom and not a Sociologist.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the question, she is very curious like many other children her age. However, it seems that the answer I gave had to be carefully delivered. I tried to explain that everyone in our family is brown, she persisted, why? and why? and why? I realized that I was not getting far with my answers and started to think carefully about my responses.
A few months later my good friend in Toronto sent out a group email to all her girlfriends trying to figure out how to approach skin color questions that her 4 year old daughter was asking. I sent in my response, and mentioned that my daughter had similar questions, and a few other women in the group who had similar questions posed to them by their children also chimed in on how to talk about skin color to kids. I had a light bulb moment, and felt that kids are going to be curious no matter what.
I realize that the issue of identity starts at a very young age when children are beginning to create perceptions of themselves and others. They are extremely curious and so there is the need to ask a million questions and understand the whys and hows of their identity. Some children may never ask these types of innocent questions or ask them at a later age. No matter what skin color our children are in we need to make them feel proud of who they are, as well as to understand that it is not a bad thing that their friends share different skin colors. That is the wonderful beauty of the world we live in.
The book is light hearted, fun and deals with the issues of identity from a child's perspective. The great thing about the book is that it can be appreciated by every child as it lends itself to a very positive message to all children, that skin color is only on the outside. It is available for all families who are seeking to enlighten and empower their children of every color.