Kirkus Reviews QR Code
OUR SKIN by Megan Madison Kirkus Star


A First Conversation About Race

From the First Conversations series

by Megan Madison & Jessica Ralli ; illustrated by Isabel Roxas

Pub Date: March 16th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-38263-9
Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

A conversation starter for adults and children on race, racism, and what to do about it.

Subtitled “A First Conversation About Race,” this book breaks race and racism down into simple terms and builds from there. It begins by asking readers to think about their skin and the skin of the people in their families. Through the context of differences in skin color, readers explore both the science of skin color with an explanation of melanin levels and questions like “What do you love about your skin?” and the social aspects of skin color and the ways that “people of color” are treated differently—both intentionally and not. The book skillfully tackles a broad range of topics, from identity terms to White supremacy, in direct and kid-friendly language. The nuanced summary of the different ways racism manifests is concrete and sure to spark important dialogue between children and the adults they read with. The message “Racism hurts and is always unfair!” is followed by suggestions for how readers can work to make change. People of many different racial presentations and ages, along with people with visible disabilities, are depicted in the bright watercolor illustrations. A “Continue the Conversation” section geared toward adults discusses helpful strategies for cultivating understanding of racism in even the youngest children.

An accessible, important addition to any anti-racist bookshelf.

(Board book. 2-5)