Friday 5 November 2021

My Skin Your Skin

My Skin Your Skin by Laura Henry-Allain MBE, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu (Penguin Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9780241512739

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This book starts with many characters of different shapes, ages, and ethnicities with sentences that compare people (‘We could be Muslim or Buddhist or Christian or Jewish or Hindu, or we could have no religion at all.’) The text reminds readers that ‘It’s fun to discuss and celebrate our differences with friends.’

With the subtitle ‘Let’s Talk about Race, Racism and Empowerment’ continues to explain the concept of race (‘The world is full of people of different races’) and continues, saying racism ‘started a long time ago when white people wanted to have more control of other people who were not white.’ In bold letters, the text says, ‘Racism is wrong’ It encourages its readers to speak up against racism and continues to give examples of racism (‘calling someone a name based on their race is wrong.’) It emphasises that racism is bullying and is not right. Above all, it says, we should celebrate our different races and cultures.

After the book’s glossary and questions, there is a note for adults reading the book, imploring them to help their children to develop good self-esteem. There is a lot of didactic text in the book as it strives to deliver its messages against racism. Every page shows people of all ages, colours and sex.

Suitable for children aged 5+ years.

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