I Am So Much More Than The Colour Of My Skin
by Divya Thomas
Publisher: Harper Collins (2021)
People are most easily influenced at a younger age, which is why I think “I Am So Much More Than The Colour of My Skin” is such an important book. It is a children’s book that follows a rhythmic pattern throughout, exploring themes of love, dreams, and inner worth. This book portrays the insignificance of external appearance in comparison with one’s capabilities and interests. I love how Divya Thomas uses elements of nature to describe the different variations in the colour of skin — earthy clay, desert sand, mountain stone, freshly-made honey, etc.Through this book, she not only teaches children to dream big, but introduces them to all the different careers they could pursue. She teaches them that nobody besides them can define their future.
Seeing picture books made primarily for brown-skinned children is still a novelty, and this book has excellent representation. The eye-catching illustrations by Ruchi Shah bring it all together, representing people in all their forms. The illustrations include children of all skin colours, religions, and differently abled children, all dreaming big dreams of being artists, writers, and doctors. Each page is a work of art, fit to be framed and hung on the wall of a child’s room.
My favorite page is one depicting a child with vitiligo.
“My skin has patches the colour of ivory tusks,
Which elephants need from dawn to dusk,
I’ll protect Earth’s nature in each destination,
I am so much more than the colour of my skin.”
This book is sure to make every child feel seen and represented, and help them recognize their potential. I highly recommend it for children aged 4-8, as they rely more heavily on illustrations for their understanding. The illustrations in this book are full of intricate details that one might miss at first glance. These details, however, are what make the book whole and complete.