PreS-Gr 2-This book by the author/illustrator team that created the thought-provoking and effective Grandpa, Is Everything Black Bad? (Culture CO-OP, 1998) is not as successful. Ink-and-watercolor paintings and rhymed text attempt to introduce children to cultural commonalities and differences. The message "We all have a Heritage,/yes this is true./It doesn't matter if your skin is black, white,/yellow, brown, red, purple or blue" is repeated throughout the book. Several of the rhymes are forced and awkward. The text does not identify any of the objects or ethnic groups portrayed in the illustrations. The colorful full-page paintings include such a hodgepodge of items that most children will be more confused than enlightened, even with adult explanation. While obviously well intentioned, this book offers too simplistic and didactic a treatment of a complex and important subject to be useful. For books that create awareness and appreciation of cultural differences, consider Barnabas Kindersley's Children Just Like Me (DK, 1995) or books by Ann Morris and Ken Heyman, including Bread, Bread, Bread (1989), On the Go (1990), and Work (1998, all Lothrop).-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Sandy Lynne Holman received her M.S. degree in School Counseling from California State University, Sacramento in 1991. She is the director of the Culture CO-OP, an organization she started to assist those who are working with diversity in education, business and the community. Sandy's experiences as a counselor, prevention coordinator and consultant for the past several years have given her a practicioner's insight into the challenges diverse communities and organizations are facing and a strong commitment to advocacy for children.
Lela Kometiani graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Georgia, with a degree of M.A. in Graphic Design. She has illustrated over 10 children's books: Georgian, Russian and European. This is her first children's book published in the United States. Lela, an award winning artist, has shown her work in various art venues including one solo exhibition. Some of her work is done using a combination of water color and ink as are the illustrations in this book.