Title: Happy in Our Skin
Written by: Fran Manushkin
Illustrated by: Lauren Tobia
Published by: Candlewick Press, 2015
Themes/Topics: diversity, self-acceptance, skin
Suitable for ages: 2-5
Look at you! You look so cute in your brand-new birthday suit. This is how we all begin: small and happy in our skin.
This is a rollicking rhyming picture book for the very young on how wonderful it is to be born you and the amazing nature of our skin. It grows with us and heals and protects and comes in all sorts of colors and unique markings (freckles, birthmarks, dimples, scabs.) The book centers around a biracial family, with three young children who share their dad’s darker colored skin coloring but Tobia’s full cast is multiracial; kids in summer garb (more skin showing!) having fun in various city locations.
Why I like This Book:
Skin is a wonderful thing to explore and celebrate with children. This is a super fun way to share diversity with kids and which child hasn’t asked questions about itchy skin, freckles, colors etc The illustrations are boisterous and joyful and the urban setting is great for this diverse group of kids. I like the addition of the mom with glasses and one in a wheelchair in the title page, and a child in a wheelchair playing ball on the cover. This is a no-brainer for pre-K and toddler groups wanting to look at how wonderful it is to be you.
Go around your group and find something different about every child’s skin (sunburn, scar, freckles…)
NB: The meter changes for spread to spread and while it flows well, if I were reading it to a class, I would pre-read it to get a feel for the text.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.