BOOK REVIEWS

Happy in Our Skin Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 11 user ratings
ISBN:0763699721
LANGUAGE:English

"Happy in Our Skin, by Fran Manushkin

Rationale
I really enjoyed Happy in Our Skin and believe it is perfect for inclusion in a diversity text set, but not because it features one specific ethnicity, religion, sex, or ability. Instead, Happy in Our Skinis wonderful because it both celebrates diversity and explains how we are all connected. This would be the perfect opening book for a diversity text set, because its illustrations are populated with so many different perspectives of people and how they can look, and would be great for initiating a discussion on diversity. The text talks about how we all have skin, and how awesome our skin is -- it protects us, grows with us, heals when we get hurt, and is wonderful to hug and tickle! On the other hand, there are so many different types of skin -- freckled and wrinkled, peach and brown, and everything in between. Each page depicts people of many etnicities, skin colors, family makeup, religion, and ability; there are mixed-ethnicity families, differently-abled people (children in wheelchairs and a blind man, for example), women wearing headscarves, henna-painted hands, Hasidic Jews, and so much more. All of these different people are shown working, living, and playing with everyone else. What great conversation-starters! A teacher could use almost any page to introduce a half-dozen different cultures and diverse perspectives. I think almost every reader could find someone to identify with in this book. It reassures readers that we all share commonalities, but also celebrates the beauty of our differences: “Yes, we all have skin, but nobody is you. You are one of a kind, and your fingerprints, too” (p. 20).

Reflection: Text to Self
Growing up, I had the interesting experience of sharing almost every single thing with a person who looked like me, talked like me, and acted like me. In fact, according to many people, this person pretty much was me. Who was this person? My twin sister. Back in the 1970s, people seemed to assume that twins were exactly alike, and they treated twins as if they were the same person. This is an experience shared by many of my contemporary twin friends. How I wished I had dark hair and skin, brown eyes, curls, freckles (yes, I followed the recipe in Freckle Juice in a vain attempt to get some spots on my face!) -- anything would do, as long as I just looked different from my sister. It took many years for me to feel comfortable with being myself, independent of my sister. I connected so much personally to Happy in Our Skin because it showcased diversity, both inside and out. The pictures showed diverse people all getting along, working together and enjoying themselves; they are having fun being who they are in the skin they were born in, and that’s something that took a long time for me to be able to do.

Discussion Questions
1. Remembering – What are some of the words the author uses to describe the color of people’s skin?
2. Understanding – Why does the author say that big groups of people are “bouquets of people”?
3. Applying – Can you think of some other situations when it’s good to have a lot of variety? (food, clothes, colors, games, etc.)
4. Analyzing – (show page 9) Look at the people on this page. How are they the same, and how are they different from each other? How are you the same as and different from other people?
5. Evaluating – Do you think it’s good for people to be different from each other, or should we all be the same? Why or why not?
6. Creating – Can you make a list of words that describe you? Use the words to make a list poem about yourself.
" said.

"This children's fiction book is brilliant. Firstly, the images are amazing and extremely diverse. The book insinuates that children are born exactly how they are and they should love it. The wording is short and simple for little children. The pictures also show the different skin tones coming together to have a picnic together. The author compares the skin tones to nice food like cocoa, and cream. This comparison allows room for the normalization of what one child may look like. I love that there is a family represented in the book that is biracial. Overall, the quality of the book is a 5-star rating for me." said.

" A family with parents of different races is prominently featured throughout this book. " said.

" Simple rhyming picture book about our amazing skin and all the wonderful colors it comes in. " said.

" Adorable and inclusive. The illustrations in this one make it a gem. The text feels a little forced sometimes, but enjoyable and worth a read to your little ones. " said.

" Celebrate what makes you unique! " said.

" Sweet words and beautiful pictures by Lauren Tobia. I must admit I like it a tad more than the kids do. " said.

" A nice book that talks about how skin works and how everyone's skin is beautiful. Very nice diversity, even has nice different family types too! ~Ashley " said.

July 2018 New Book:

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