Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children

by Sandra L. Pinkney

Board book, 2006




Cartwheel Books (2006), 26 pages


Photographs and poetic text celebrate the beauty and diversity of African American children.

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½ (27 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member amberntaylor
“ I am Black, I am Unique” This books gives children a sense of pride to be who they are; to be different. This book show amazing pictures of the differences in skin tones, hair texture and eye color. They have beautiful children’s faces holding objects to compare to their skin tone, hair
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texture and eye color.

I thought this book was very elegant in showing the differences in African American Children. The pictures were great to look at and unique.

I think this book would be great to use during Black History Month. You could read it along with the books about African American’s past and culture. I would also say to use another story with several different ethnics and their many colors. You could have the children draw, with skin tone colors crayons, a picture of themselves. Have them look in a big mirror, and tell things about themselves that make them different from others in the classroom. Them have them write what makes them each special.
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LibraryThing member madelinelbaker
This book is a good example of an informational book because I feel that the purpose of the book was to show that people that are considered "black" are not really black at all, but many different shades in between, such as butterscotch.
LibraryThing member brekimlov
"My Black is Unique," is a book about different physical characteristics within the African- American race. The book is illustrated with photographs of children displaying the differences between themselves. The book focuses on the differences between different shades,and textures of eyes, skin,
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and hair.

I am usually opposed to books like this. But, I think this would be a good book to use for school-age African- American children. The underlying theme of the book is to teach young black children to accept themselves as well as others who might be different from them. Being a black woman myself, I would have benefited from a book such as "Shades of Black" growing up.

This book would be a great book to use with pre-dominately African- American students. This is a great book to share at home within a family, as well.
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LibraryThing member DonnaChoe
A beautiful children's book that has photographs and poetic text about African American children all around the world.

I found this book through my 2nd grade tutee in Detroit. I asked him what his favorite book was and he told me that it was this book. I borrowed it from the library and fell in
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love. It also allowed me to engage in a deeper conversation about the book with my tutee.
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LibraryThing member rjames1071
Shades of Black shares a vast group of children of the African American Children who are the same yet different
LibraryThing member RachelHollingsworth
This is just a book that highlights all the wonderful differences of the people around us, yet we are all amazing and wonderful.
LibraryThing member YolandaFelton
Shades of Black: A Celebration of our Children is a story about the different shades of color of African American children. The story begins with the first picture of an African girl with a big smile on her face. On the opposite page, there is a phrase that states, “I am Black I am
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Unique.” Throughout the book children of different shades of color express how their unique skin color is compared to another color palette such as, “I am the creamy white frost in vanilla ice cream, I am the midnight blue in a licorice stick, and I am the radiant brassy yellow color in popcorn.” Captions with the children’s pictures are throughout the book and at the end of the story all of the children are pictured with one caption that states, “I am Black I am Unique…I am proud to be me.”

Personal Reaction:
Some of the children pictured in the book are the children of the authors and they are all different shades of color. My older three children are biracial and my fourth son is not. All four are African American children that are obvious different shades of color. I really like this multicultural book which can be used to inspire children to be proud of their skin color. This would have been a great book for my cousin to read as a child. Instead of being bullied because her complexion is darker and feeling ashamed, this book would have encouraged her to believe her black is beautiful and she is unique.

Classroom Extension Ideas: 1.) Use knee-high nylon stockings that are different colors to promote differences in skin color. Encourage students to try on all the colored stockings on their hands at least once. Ask children to try to find stockings the same colors as their skin. Then explain to each child that no one’s skin color is exactly, black, white, yellow, or red and their skin color is unique, different, interesting, and beautiful.
2.) Friendship bulletin board. Give children peach, brown, white, black, and orange paint. Have them mix what color they think their skin is. Then have them paint a friend’s hand and place on bulletin board promoting friends come in many colors. Encouraging students to never bully anyone especially of the color of their skin.
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Charlotte Zolotow Award (Highly Commended Title — 2001)


Original language


Physical description

26 p.; 6.22 x 5.1 inches


0439802512 / 9780439802512
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