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4.54  ·  Rating details ·  976 ratings  ·  225 reviews
From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. The
48 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  976 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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POWERFUL —seems too easy of a word to describe the debut children’s book by Lupita Nyong’o. Yet, powerful, may not do it enough justice. Colorism is an extremely challenging subject to broach and tackle, especially among people of color. However, Sulwe approaches the issue with such honesty and candor that it invites a much needed discussion.

Brightness is not in your skin...Brightness is just who you are”

With the beautiful illustrations, provided by Vashti Harrison, Sulwe speaks/>
Christina Marie
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of COURSE I loved this. The story was so perfect for the mind of a young dark skinned girl. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and anyone that experiences them will be able to appreciate them.

I’m so honored to have experienced this story. Even as the 32 year old that I am. As a young black girl, while I’m not the darkest, I certainly wasn’t the lightest. And I was outside a lot, so I was darker as a kid. I remember the names “moose”, “monkey”. I remember running to my mom when some boy
Nicole Hewitt
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is stunning in just about every way imaginable. The story follows little Sulwe, who struggles to see her own beauty because of the darkness of her skin. Sulwe wishes she could look more like her parents, more like her sister, more like the other boys and girls at her school. Like most children, she doesn't want to feel different---and her dark skin doesn't make her feel special or unique, no matter what her m
❤❤Dee's Love of Books ❤❤
REREAD: This book written by actress, Lupita Nyong'o gives an uplifting tale of a little girl named Sulwe,"born the color of midnight" learning how to accept the color of her dark skin... truly a beautiful picture book!

"Sulwe dreamed of being the same color as her sister. She wanted real friends too." So she got the biggest eraser she could find and tried to rub off a layer or two of her darkness. That hurt!"
"Dear Lord, Why do I look like midnight when my mother looks li
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stunningly beautiful illustrations accompany a deceptively simple story of a girl with skin much darker than everyone else in her family, and who feels ashamed for it. After a wonderful visit by a shooting star, she comes to see the value and beauty in herself and her dark skin.
The idea that being dark means one is inherently bad or stupid is incredibly damaging, and this lovely little story shows young children feeling the same way as Sulwe that there is beauty within oneself, regardless
Rod Brown
Goodreads Choice Awards Project: Read as many of the Best Picture Book nominees as possible. 6 to go!

Terrific sentiment and beautiful art, but the story-within-a-story lost me (it's basically a dream sequence, which I hate), so the change in the girl's thinking in the end didn't land as well for me as it should have.
Jillian Heise
Beautiful book & Vashti Harrison's endearing characters illustrations which elevate to stunning in the mythology section. Will recommend it and buy it. Just wish author/editor had trusted it enough to let it end on the second to last page which felt more natural and less didactic of an ending than the last line on the last page.
Tonja Drecker
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book and tale, which takes a problem many children can relate to and then sweeps it off into the world of imagination and dreams in a lovely fairy tale.

While Sulwe believes every single one of her family members is beautiful, she's convinced that her own darker skin makes her uglier than them. The teasing and taunting at school doesn't help matters. Sulwe tries everything she can to make her skin lighter, but nothing works. Mother, of course, tries to explain how
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeously illustrated. Sulwe, the color of midnight, believes she is too dark compared to her family of dusk, dawn, and high noon, and yearns to be fair, beautiful, and befriended. Her mother tells her, "When you are darkest is when you are the most beautiful. It's when you are the most you." She learns to accept and celebrate the darkness and lightness within and without. Empowering book for a child unhappy with the color of his or her skin.
Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-easy
This book is GORGEOUS and so is the message❤ ...more
Tasha Birckhead
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me almost cry. I remember feeling and doing the same thing Sulwe did as a child. Feeling less by being made fun of because of my darker skin. I wish this book had been around for me then but I'm glad I can share this book with my family. To let them know they are beautiful inside and out no matter what others say. The art work is beautiful and the storytelling is magical. A wonderful addition to any collection.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Colorism and/or Self Esteem
Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o makes her children's book debut with Sulwe, a lovely picture-book about a young girl who struggles with issues of self worth because of her dark skin. Wishing she were lighter skinned like her mother and father, convinced she would have more friends if she was more like her sister, Sulwe attempts to lighten her skin herself, until her mother steps in and reminds her that her name means "star," and that she has a light all her own. But what does that mean? W ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity
A magnificent celebration of the beauty of dark skin is told through the story of little Sulwe, a girl whose skin color is darker than anyone else in her family. Sulwe tries to do anything she can to change the color of her skin, but nothing works. Sulwe finds comfort from a story shared to her by a shooting star, a story that reveals the importance of both dark and light.

This is a story that should be shared with others.
This was an incredibly beautifully written picture book.

Dear Lord,
Why do I look like midnight,
when my mother looks like dawn?
Please make me as fair
as the parents I'm from.
I want to be beautiful,
not just to pretend.
I want to have daylight.
I want to have friends.
If you hear me, my Lord,
and would like to comply,
may I wake up as bright
as the sun in the sky.

Sulwe was born with skin that is darker than the rest of her family and friends. Sulwe d/>
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I love the story of Sulwe and I love the dream she has with the story of night and day. It's a folk tale and a modern day story in one. Beautiful illustrations by Vashti Harrison make this magical and the heartfelt afterword by Lupita Nyong'o will be a comfort for anyone who has ever felt not pretty enough (aka just about everybody).
Lauren Smagacz
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I sobbed like an infant. Must read. Must read to yourself. Must read to your children. Must read to your best friend. Must read to anyone who will listen.

You are beautiful.

Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this for my mother and sister to read to their young students, but I wanted to read it too! This book is perfect for helping young kids find the beauty in their dark skin. And the illustrations are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in a children’s book.
Jill Rogers
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most beautiful picture book I’ve ever read. ❤ ...more
Brindi Michele
These illustrations are just SO STUNNING! Every page is absolutely breathtaking.

And the story touched my heart. A much needed message for every little girl.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy, children-s
Just gonna be over here having a happy sad feeling.

This was adorable. And such a needed message
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The illustrations are stunning, but I did find the story a little lacking.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I would definitely read this to a child.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Baby Bookworm
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews
Hello, friends! Our book today is Sulwe, written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, a lovely fable that tackles the difficult issue of colorism.

All the members of Sulwe’s family are a different shade of brown; her Mama is the color of dawn, her Baba the color of dusk, and her popular, much-praised sister Mich is the color of the noontime sky. Sulwe’s skin is much darker, even darker than most of the other kids at school, and her classmates often saddle her with hur
I found this book by chance while voting in this year's Goodreads Choice Awards. Trawling the many categories, I started getting fed up with how white and American most of the nominations were, and so I started explicitly voting for books that were written by women, people of colour or from countries other than the US, even if I hadn't read them. Call it my act of readerly rebellion! We are all equal, and yet our literature still doesn't reflect the amazing diversity of people in our world. But ...more
Kris Dersch
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all, gorgeous isn't strong enough a word for this book. Luminous. Immersive. Lovely. If it isn't a Caldecott contender, the game is rigged.
Storywise, it's a beautiful message told through an ever so slightly disjointed story. The bit with her mother is really lovely as is the legend and fable portion, but they don't connect real well. Her mom exhibits a look of confusion as to where the ending of this story comes from and I don't blame her.
That said, this book should be high
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is beautifully told and illustrated, and a pleasing first book from Lupita Nyong'o. This is a must read to any child that has doubted themselves or their worth because of how they looked, especially those with darker complexions.

Sisters Day and Night once friends become separated, after Dark hears hurtful words. But when the days become too long, Dark is needed to create balance, and the people realize her beauty and importance. Night and Day find a unique way to share with each othe
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Loved the vulnerability and the message. Loved the words and the pictures. Loved it all.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-esteem
This is one of the most beautiful picture books I've read. I read it for the first time today in Barnes & Noble and I immediately shared it with my friends who were there with me. We read it together and all three of us ended up purchasing a copy. The illustrations are heartbreakingly beautiful and each time I read the book I get goosebumps. I've read many identity and self-esteem picture books for children and this one takes the cake. We all want to fit in, belong, and have friends and Sulw ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is something all people should read....all genders all skin tones, self-love is not found thru anyone else it is SELF-love and you need to remind our children and youth that true happiness is found within.
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