cover image Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race (First Conversations)

Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race (First Conversations)

Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, illus. by Isabel Roxas. Rise x Penguin Workshop, $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-51939-4

This accessibly written, adroit primer prompts the youngest readers to consider how skin tone relates to race and ethnicity, societal treatment, and justice. Madison and Ralli open with several pages featuring simple sentences centering skin, each followed by a gentle, well-chosen discussion question on the facing page: “Our skin is beautiful, strong,/ and important just the way it is!// What do you love about your skin?” The duo then digs deeper, explaining melanin, race, and racism, with illuminating examples: “Racism is also the things people do and the unfair rules they make about race so that white people get more power, and are treated better, than everybody else.” Dot-eyed, clearly emotive characters by Roxas, vibrantly rendered and digitally collaged, are of varying age, ability, religion, and skin tone. An ideal conversation starter for any child. Back matter relays opportunities for adults to begin talks about skin color, race-related observations, family diversity, identity terms, and more. Ages 2–5. (May)