The Colourful Life: Beginning the Discussion about Mixed Race Families

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Good evening everyone! I usually make new posts on Sundays, but I had to take a night off to tend to mommy duties this weekend. Melody had pink eye in both eyes (insert gasp here). I’m happy to report the drops have worked and her eyes look great! Nothing a little R&R, ice cream and eye drops couldn’t fix.

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Now down to business. I’ve had the lovely opportunity to read and review two books about Multiracial families. The series is entitled, The Colourful Life! The author is Naomi Kissiedu-Green.

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Naomi wrote these books for all children entering day care or preschool who are becoming aware of the world outside of their families for the first time. They might notice things about people – like someone’s skin color being different from their own or a baby growing inside a mother’s stomach. Since children are curious, they may ask, “What’s in your tummy?” or “Why is my skin different from yours?”

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I absolutely adore this book! This will be a staple in our collection. I love how the book jumps right into the subject of race and differences. “I am a child of mixed heritage. My mother is black and my father is white. My skin is the perfect mix of both; it has a smooth brown town that represents the heritage of each of my parents. I am neither black nor white. I am mixed race and proud to be.”

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I couldn’t have said that more eloquently. My children are two and four, but as they age, this page can help me articulate how beautiful it is to be of mixed race/culture. The story centers around a boy named Kobi and his family. Kobi is mixed race and there aren’t many families like his, so he is faced with constant questions about why his parents don’t look alike. Without giving away the ending, his parents (in collaboration with the teacher) give Kobi and his class a lesson about diversity. It is such a beautiful story!

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I also love how page 31 gives the child an opportunity to draw their family.  This is a must have!

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Another thing I adored about this series is the forward for teachers and parents. Here is a small excerpt: “When reading the stories, you may wish to ask your children about the identities depicted. Find out what your children’s thoughts are about the different identities.” I love that it helps guide conversations with kids. Not everyone, including educators, may feel comfortable breaching this subject. She makes it easy!

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In the Colourful Life! Same but different story, Kobi  is the star again, and this time, his story chronicles his transition from only child to big brother. What I love about this book is that it features both sets of grandparents, and in Kobi’s case, they are black and white. Representation matters to kids, so featuring both sides of the family is huge in my book.

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The language is simple and easy to understand, however, if your child has a short attention span, you may want to break the book up in parts, or save it for when they are a little older. My four year old loves to read and sat through the book, however my two year old got bored a few pages in and opted for a shorter book. If you want to get the point across, you could always skip pages too (tell me I’m not the only parent who does this!)

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All in all, I was very impressed with the books. I hope you add them to your collection! If you want to purchase the books, check  out the following link: http://www.bookdepository.com/publishers/Naomi-Kissiedu-Green.

If you want more information about the author, check out her Facebook page.

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to see a picture of your multiracial family! Hashtag your picture #arethoseyourkids so I can see all of those beautiful faces. I can’t wait to connect with you!

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6 thoughts on “The Colourful Life: Beginning the Discussion about Mixed Race Families

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