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Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children
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Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  402 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
The best-selling picture book is now available as a board book.

I am Black / I am Unique / I am the creamy white frost in vanilla ice cream / and the milky smooth brown in a chocolate bar...
Using simple poetic language and stunning photographs, Sandra and Myles Pinkney have created a remarkable book of affirmation for African-American children. Photographic portraits and st
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Board Book, 24 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Cartwheel Books (first published May 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Carmen
Jul 07, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: Instagram
I am black. I am unique.

Let's talk about racism! Ah, yes, I can see you heading for the exit already. That's okay, I totally get it. It's a rough topic. For those of you still with me:

How do you teach a child about racism or tell him/her about it? I don't know. I don't have a flippin' clue. If you are related (biologically or not, parent or not or aunt or cousin or grandma or whatever) to a child who is (insert any race/ethnicity here), then you are going to have to deal with this at some point.
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Abbery Milhouse-cunningham
Shades of black is a beautiful pictorial depiction of African American diversity. The book is geared towards younger children, more specifically African American children. However, this book can be enjoyed by students of all races. This non-fiction book is full of photos, and there are sentences alongside the pictures. Sentences like "I am Black; I am Unique; I am the creamy white frost in vanilla ice cream" directs the reader's attention to the children in the photo. This book does not contain ...more
Ch_ebonysmith
“I am black, I am unique” is the phrase from Shades of Black, a book about the diverse shades of American Americans. The book is good to embrace the different shades black people are because there are so many variations of African Americans skin tones. Some children may be not be self confident because of their skin tones, knowing that there are many people that have the same skintone may help the children. There are actual pictures are children celebrating their skintones “midnight blue” meanin ...more
Kelly
For me, this is a beautiful book that serves an important role in my work with young children.

"Shades of Black", geared specifically for young children 2 to 7 years of age, explores physical diversity within the Black identity, highlighting the many shades of Black skin with text such as “I am the velvety orange in a peach/and the coppery brown in a pretzel,” before looking at differences in the characteristics of hair (“My hair is the soft puffs/in a cotton ball/and the stiff ringlets in lambs
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Marcus
This is a simple picture book, but the vocabulary offers a chance to grow your word wall (e.g. unique, velvety, coppery, radiant, ringlets, amber, luster, Unakite, brilliant, Lapis, shimmering, ebony, Onyx, ancient). This book is a great way to tie art into literature. The color specificity can be used to move beyond primary colors into a broader range of naming colors and using colors (i.e. with crayons, colored pencils, water colors or paint). After a read aloud of the entire book and showing ...more
Walida
Aug 28, 2013 Walida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Pinkney uses beautiful similes and matching photos of each child. This book celebrates the many attributes of African American children. Shades of Black invites readers of all ages and gives them a chance to explore and embrace the diversity of African Americans. I think every classroom should have a copy of this book. This book can be used as a Multicultural lesson as well as a Self Esteem building tool for children.
Learning can be extended through discussion about diversity.
Children make dist
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Cerita
This book is wonderful for not only black children, but children of other races as well. I think it would help children understand that even though you are labeled as a certain race everyone is still unique with their own special features and skin color shades. The descriptive vocabulary in used great for vocabulary development and giving a connection for children to relate to in order to understand the concept of the book. I like the fact that pictures of real children and real items are used a ...more
Arissa
Oct 21, 2013 Arissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a short read and focused on the diversity in the African-American community with photos of children. It contained a variety of children which all types of skin tones which they were celebrated. The book did not only cover skin complexions but also referred to hair and eye color. Shades of Black is a book that is affirming to young African-American children in a positive light with the writing that was introduced explains the diversity in this community. This book explores and conne ...more
Brittany Wood
“I am black, I am unique” is the phrase from Shades of Black, a book about the diverse shades of American Americans. The book is good to embrace the different shades black people are because there are so many variations of African Americans skin tones. Some children may be not be self confident because of their skin tones, knowing that there are many people that have the same skintone may help the children. There are many pictures of children celebrating their skintones “midnight blue” meaning a ...more
Rosita
I really enjoy this book it encourages children to know their identity how to love their own skin as they are. This a great book to show children the texture of hair, eyes, and beauty. The children in the book describe different shades of eyes and skin. The children can celebrate that they are unique with shades of black. I really enjoy the book states "I am black and unique It identify its children's character. The children will be proud of themselves. This book is an African American for child ...more
Shaquita
I loved reading this book because it encourages children to love the skin they are in; it let children know they are unique and the should embrace it. This book also teaches an appreciation of the different cultures in the world. I also liked the author's descriptions of the different shades of the skin and eyes, as well as, the textures of hair.



Learning Experience: Children will make rainbow of friends. I will have children illustrate a picture of themselves using different materials(i.e. yarn
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Bridgit
Sep 29, 2012 Bridgit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grade/interest level: Primary
Reading level: not found (lexile.com)
Genre: informational
Main Characters: n/a
Setting: n/a
POV: third person, narrator

"Shades of Black" is a great read-aloud for Primary grades. The author uses phographs to compare the hair, eyes, and skin color of various Black children, making each shade/color/texture a unique and beautiful thing. This is a great book to share with young children, noting the diversity within a race and the uniqueness within us all.

This is a great w
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Josiah Smith
Mar 31, 2015 Josiah Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a book that shows the diversity and uniqueness of individuals. A book written about the authors children all of different colours, races, genders, and backgrounds; but, all are considered their children. A creative usage of adjectives and colours and about colours. A powerful; statement book that shows we are all important and unique and that that is OK. A nice use of stones (lapis) to describe themselves. wonderful illustrations and an enjoyable read for children and parents/guardians/caregiver ...more
Brittany Stewart
Feb 20, 2015 Brittany Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-am-unique
I absolutely love this book. I am a woman of color and this book as opened my eyes to see how many different shades a person of color can be. There is no concrete color as black there are shades in between. I can be the golden brown complexion of sugar and my hair can be as straight as a blade of grass because I am unique. I think this book sets a beautiful tone for all children of any color to see we are all beautiful and unique. I think this book could be read to all ages. It’s never too early ...more
Jasmine
Mar 26, 2015 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great presentation! Fun transition in with a song and using a literacy prop to read road. Catherine's lesson was based on new words and words that are similar or different. She kept everyone interested by asking question about how people are different and questions related to the book. she discussed the pictures in the book and how they are similar to those in the class. Her learning experience allows children to think. Two children will look at pictures of each other and discuss the similaritie ...more
Elise Xuereb
This book, Shades of Black, compares different skin tones, eye color, and hair textures of Afro/American/black children to everyday items such as peaches, brown sugar chocolate, etc. or natural things such as stones, minerals, or ice cream. This book uses adjectives to describe the many characteristics of these children. It teaches children about diversity, how everyone is different and that is OK. Each child is beautiful in their own way.

Genre: Culture
Breona Taylor
Great book for a teacher to use to teach diversity, and teaching that everyone is diverse/unique. Great for teaching children to be confident within themselves. Good book for teaching children to be proud of what they are and how they look. I really liked how it talked about skin tones, hair types, and eye color. Great for all children, not just brown children. loved, loved, loved this book- the photographs were gorgeous and I absolutely loved how the book was worded!
Jacqueline Lewis
Shades of black is a beautiful pictorial depiction of African American diversity. This book has themes of confidence, unity, and diversity that are placed in a positive light. This book also highlights the reality that differences are okay and beautiful and to embrace the different shades black people are because there are so many variations of African Americans skin tones. This book can be used as a Multicultural lesson as well as a Self Esteem building tool for children.
Kenia Soto
Shades of Black is a great book for teachers to have in their class. It not only shows the many shades of African Americans but also how they differ from eye color, hair texture and color. It is flooded with new vocabulary for children to learn such as the various colors of rocks and adjectives used to describe their hair, skin tone, and eye color. Amazing book to teach diversity even within the African American culture.
Bunty Jah
Mar 31, 2015 Bunty Jah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children this book was very interesting this is a bokk every teacher should have a copy. Children learn about differences and similarities in each other. It also teaches about diversity and encouarge children to be their selves. Lots of new vocabulary works to introduce to preschoolers. I love this book and will read it again. The colors and pictures was really good. Kudos to the author
Nefertiti
Mar 31, 2015 Nefertiti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book could help children to understand that we are all different but alike in many ways. This can help children to learn acceptance of one another, and the value of being unique. All the children in the book were beautiful however, the book itself the way it was designed was not that fun to look at. I would recommend this book to parents and teachers of children over the age of 4.
Agnes Mukoro
Feb 17, 2015 Agnes Mukoro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was written by Sandra Pinkney, and was published on January 2006. It is about African-American beauty, and emphasized on acceptance of their heritage , it discusses the various traits and complexions that make the African -American unique. The book uses simple poetic language and it promote language and literacy development.
Ayana
Oct 02, 2014 Ayana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is very unique the illustrations of the different children skin tone and hair textures is depicted in a great way and the use and examples of comparison to real objects is great. My only issue is the use of the word "Black". I would have preferred another word like shades of " Mahogany".
Justyna Johns
Sep 23, 2014 Justyna Johns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diversity
A beautiful book about diversity in a group of African-American children. With teaching most of the children about being black or white, this books allows children to find the right words when describing the self.
Donna Smith
Oct 02, 2014 Donna Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
I love this book. Not only does it help children of color identify who they are as a culture, it teach self-esteem as well. Another aspect this book brings to light is comparison, such as the color of eyes and what its compared to, their hair and what its compared to. Great book.
Keren
Jun 04, 2014 Keren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-esteem
Great book to encourage young black youth to embrace their features. I love how it shoed that with all the differences that we have we are still one in the same. A good read for mulicultrual children coming from mixed back grounds.
K.
Apr 06, 2014 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely, on my list of highly recommended books for parents with children of color! It shows them that we come in all different shades, have all different hair textures, eyes colors and still we are each unique and beautiful.
Jazzmin Baldwin
This book is great during black history month as well as any day. It teaches children about description and broad vocabulary. Its also great to make a child feel good about what he/she may look like. I recommend this book for ages 3 and up. So many art projects and lessons I could think of.
Stephany
I am black, I am unique! Is the phrase if this book! Teaches children to embrace different shades of black, teaches them every color is unique and they should be proud. Good for learning experiences with shades of skin.
Rachel
Very beautiful. I love how the book shows the differences between children even within their own race and how each difference is something wonderful and to be celebrated. Very well put together.
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