cover image DOES ANYBODY ELSE LOOK LIKE ME?: A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children

DOES ANYBODY ELSE LOOK LIKE ME?: A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children

Donna Jackson Nakazawa, . . Perseus, $25 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-7382-0605-9

The author, a freelance writer, is from a western European background, while her husband is Japanese American. Although Nakazawa initially hoped to raise her son and daughter to be "color blind," they couldn't ignore the many comments made by both adults and children concerning Christian and Claire's appearance. When Christian was a toddler he was asked if he spoke Chinese, and the author was assured that little Claire didn't "even look Asian." Nakazawa decided to develop strategies to ensure that her son and daughter would be proud of their heritage and confident about their multiracial identity. Finding no useful book on the subject, she decided to write her own. Based on personal experience and interviews conducted with 60 other multiracial families, Nakazawa has skillfully combined anecdotal research with a strong knowledge of childhood and educational development philosophy to provide this useful guide for raising multiracial children in a color- and race-conscious world. Nakazawa believes that, although most three-year-olds are not racially aware, it is important to deflect insensitive comments from strangers about appearance. As a child grows older, this early dialogue should deepen, so that children will feel safe and comfortable discussing their racial identity with parents and be able to bring up any racially charged experiences that have occurred at school or with friends. Included are suggestions for the special problems that may arise during adolescence. (July)