Author: Alicia D. Williams
Illustrator: Biana Mukodiri Uchendu
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
I wish we didn’t need books like this. But we do. This book is not just for Black and Brown people. It’s for all people.
It is possible that you’ve never heard of The Talk that Black and Brown families have with their children. If so, take a look at the video below where Trevor Noah does a good job of summarizing it on The Daily Show (I’ll wait).
Now that you’re back, let’s talk about this picturebook. It’s soul crushing.
Uchendu, in stunning, mournful illustrations that highlight a purple/beige/brown palette takes us through the life of Jay, a little boy we watch grow up into a young man. Together, Jay and his friends engage in the everyday activities that kids do; they hangout, run, and play. Uchendu captures the joy of everyday life as Jay interacts with his family–providing facial expressions that vividly transition as Jay gets older, from that happiness of young childhood, to the growing concern of the tween years.
Through Jay’s Mother, Williams cautions that, “They won’t see you as a young boy anymore, either” once Jay grows older (and taller). Her concern, along with the growing concern of the rest of the family, lead to The Talk.
A Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner, The Talk deftly and warmly addresses a subject that is common for millions of families throughout the world. For those families where The Talk is not common, this window provides a peek into a subject that needs to be addressed early on. Perhaps by addressing it universally, we’ll get to the point where we won’t need to address it at all?
What do you think?
My thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.
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