by Julius Lester
“Beneath the skin we all look alike.”
In this beautifully illustrated book, the author shares some of his own story while inviting the reader to think about the many ways in which all human beings are alike. He emphasizes the importance of wondering about Who a person is instead of being afraid of the ways in which they seem different from yourself.
Talk About It
- Ask your kids if they know what the word When people are grouped based upon certain physical characteristics; most commonly skin color. More means in this context. Children need to understand that it is okay & normal to notice all of the different shades of skin that we have as humans. However, this isn’t the information we use to decide things like if someone is smart, kind, funny, etc. Then following up by talking about the concept of Creating ideas about someone we do not know based upon something like skin color or gender. Prejudices are generally negative. More.
- Think about someone you’ve seen but don’t know that looks different than you (maybe a kid at school, an actor or singer, a delivery person, etc). Ask your child what things you’d like to ask/learn about that them to see what all you might have in common.
- Draw an outline of a person (or trace your child) and create a list of all the things we have in common beneath our skin. For example, blood that flows; hearts that beat; brains that think; legs that run; feelings like joy and sadness. Your child can place these inside the body where they might be or around the body and then recreate an image from the book inside the outline.
- As a family come up with a list of qualities that make someone a good person. Notice aloud that When people are grouped based upon certain physical characteristics; most commonly skin color. More does not show up on your list.
- Encourage your child to think about skin colors as Shades of the World. Then ask your child to imagine if everyone’s skin was exactly alike. Use colored pencils, crayons, etc to make 2 drawings: one where the entire paper is one shade and the other where it is full of different colors. Talk about the beauty of the second picture!
- Look online as a family and pick out other books you want to read that show the This word simply means differences. It generally refers to differences in things like race, gender, religion, language, culture, or appearance. More that makes up the world.