What Does Brown Mean to You?

Penguin/Nancy Paulsen. Jan. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593462881.
PreS-Gr 2–This vibrant, positive narrative follows a brown-skinned boy through his day as he celebrates the many shades of brown in his family and world. “Brown is my dad who is stirring a mix” and “Brown is the ground where I rest my feet.” The boy discovers the many shades of brown all around him, and readers gain appreciation for the beauty of its depths. Grady’s book joins others of its kind, such as Samara Cole Doyon’s Magnificent Homespun Brown, Ashok Banker’s I Am Brown, and Tiffany Rose’s M Is for Melanin. Perhaps what sets his book apart is his perspective as a teacher at a nature preschool; his main character is a preschooler exploring his world with curiosity, energy, and joy, which this age group has in droves. The illustrations capture each moment vibrantly, from the muddy puddles to the warm “gooey goodness” of chocolate chip cookies.
VERDICT This is a welcome addition to all collections promoting positive skin tone discussions and leading to personal explorations of the title’s question. Provocative and generous.

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