The Colors of Us

The Colors of Us

5.0 10
by Karen Katz
     
 

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A positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist's perspective.

Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.

Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see

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Overview

A positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist's perspective.

Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.

Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.

Karen Katz has been an illustrator and a graphic designer for many years. Her first book, Over the Moon, tells the story of the adoption of her daughter, Lena, from Guatemala. Lena was also the inspiration for this book, which Ms. Katz says she wrote in affirmation of Lena and her friends, and the diversity that surrounds them. Ms. Katz and her family divide their time between New York City and Woodstock, New York.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child's open-hearted sensibility and a mother's love.” —Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Lena's mother is an artist, so she knows whereof she speaks when she insists that there are many different shades of brown. The two take a walk through their neighborhood by way of illustration, and the friends and relatives they meet along the way aptly reinforce Mom's contention. Their skin colors are compared to honey, peanut butter, pizza crust, ginger, peaches, chocolate, and more, conjuring up delicious and beautiful comparisons for every tint. Katz's pencil-and-gouache pictures joyously convey the range of human pigmentation. Positive and useful. Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is "seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up"; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to "mix red, yellow, black, and white paints." They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, "like leaves in fall"; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—"The colors of us!" Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child's open-hearted sensibility and a mother's love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805058642
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
538,093
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.27(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
370L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Karen Katz has written and illustrated many books for children, including Can You Say Peace, My First Ramadan, Counting Kisses and Where is Baby's Belly Button. Long inspired by folk art from around the world, she was inspired to write her first book, Over the Moon, when she and her husband adopted their daughter from Guatemala, and she wanted to tell the story of welcoming Lena into their lives. Katz loves to paint and experiment with texture, color, collage and pattern. Besides an author and illustrator, she has been a costume designer, quilt maker, fabric artist and graphic designer. Katz and her family divide their time between New York City and Saugerties, New York.

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Colors of Us 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
bibliophilist More than 1 year ago
This book is a very easy read for most children. In a very non preachy/moralistic tone it talks about all the different colors of us. All the colors that make up the neighborhood. Being described in flavors and seasons makes sure that all colors are seen as equally unique and equally worth celebrating. It is simple and uplifting, especially for children who seem to be worried about what color they are and where they belong. This books says very quietly, you are who you are and that makes you wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully illustrated, but even more importantly, it tells the story of a little girl that discovers that we are all very different even if we 'look the same.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book to my Kindergarten class and they loved it. It is a really beautiful story. I also enjoyed that the skin colors are compared to foods, such as: honey, cinnamon, peaches, and chocolate. This book is really sweet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book that demonstrates the beauty of every shade of the African American race
KristineHart More than 1 year ago
The illustrations are awesome and the moral of the story is great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My grandaughghter read this at the library, in addition to 4K, this book gave her a sense of love for all that are in the world. Good book. By the way we had to order it from the warehouse and it was delivered within 2 days, so my grandaughter didn't lose any thoughts of her inerest in wanting to read it. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a great book about a girl and her artist mother and the realization that all her friends are all different colors and shades. This is a great book for kids to start realizing that people come in all different shades and that is the way the world really is and it is beautiful thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Katz uses color and creative explanaiotns to explore the unique color of different people. This is a great book for talking about how everyone is special.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The message is lovely, the rhymes are enchanting, the pictures are fun and--well--what else is there to say? We love this book at my house and frequently give it as gifts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Both the words and the illustrations are beautiful in this book. My pre-school class realy enjoys it. (And so do I.)