Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Voices From The Fringe: Social Justice

Interrogating Race And Skin Color In bell hooks’ Picturebook For Children

"Skin Again" by bell hooks and Chris Raschka

Myra here.


Skin Again [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by bell hooks Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers (2004)
ISBN: 078680825X (ISBN13: 9780786808250). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Bell Hooks is known for her Black feminist writing and works on intersectionality, but (to a certain degree) lesser known for her picturebooks for children done in collaboration with Chris Raschka. Published in 2004, this picturebook retains its power and distinct voice, made even more vibrant with Rashcka’s trademark art.

The book invites the reader to go beyond a surface level understanding of another person based on appearances. It is an invitation to greater intimacy, the sharing of confidences, and the hopeful wish that the reader will make an effort to:

Be with me inside the

me of me,

all made up

of stories present, past, future

There is a rhythm, a bop to the narrative – complemented by the playful splash of colours. There is delight yet also a degree of gravity in the ‘realness’ of who one is with “real history, real dreams” and the many complex things that make up a human being.

This would be a great picturebook to pair with Julius Lester and Karen Barbour’s Let’s Talk About Race (Amazon | Book Depository) which I have featured here.


#ReadIntl2020 Update: bell hooks (POC)

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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