Caramel has already reviewed two books from the A Kids Book About ... series: A Kids Book About Change by David Kim and A Kids Book About Empathy by Daron K Roberts. (You can read more about the series here.) Today he is reviewing the first book in the series: A Kids Book About Racism, written by Jelani Memory. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes, as usual.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, we just read the book together. Can you tell our readers what this book is about?
Caramel: It’s about racism. That’s what it says on the cover too.
S: That’s true. So what does it tell you about racism?
C: It tells you what racism is.
S: So what is racism?
C: Someone may be mean to someone else because of the color of their skin. Here is the definition the book gives:
“Racism means to hate someone, exclude them or treat them badly because of their race or because of the color of their skin.”
S: The book makes it clear that racism is about treating people badly because they are different. But it also says that being different is actually good. Right?
C: Yes. Because if we are different we can offer other people more. Like.. let me read from the book: “help, ideas, strengths, skills, creativity..”
S: So what does that mean? Is being different better, like if you are different from others, then are you better than others?
C: No, that’s not what this means. This means if people are different from one another, then they have more ideas, they can help one another, and they can share.
S: Yes! I agree. I too interpreted that part the same way. Being different allows you to see things differently. And then you can bring a new perspective to a problem, you can share experiences that others may not have had, so they will be able to learn from you. And similarly you can learn from them. But the book also tells us how it makes someone feel to face racism, how people are sometimes made to feel so small just because they are different. How can you try and help people who are being treated badly because of racism?
C: You can try to include friends who look different when you are playing. Or when someone is mean to them, or exclude them from their game. You can invite them to join yours.
S: I like those ideas Caramel. A while back, we read a book by Sonya Sotomayor called Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You which was also about how being different can be a valuable thing, right?
C: And Marshmallow reviewed a book called Wonder about a kid who looked very different and so his friends did not treat him too nicely. A lot of people are different in different ways. And it is not nice to treat them differently just because they are different. Why can’t you just treat everyone nicely?
S: Good question Caramel. It seems like people are a bit scared of others who are different.
C: I guess so. But it is not a good thing to do that!
S: Agreed. So let us wrap up our review with your three words for this book.
C: Helpful. Because it makes me think about different people. And let me see. Other words… Hmm. Black and white and red and orange and brown.
S: Hmm, that makes more than three words, but those are the main colors that show up in the book. You are right. I’d also say it could be a good starting point for little bunnies and their adults to talk about some difficult topics. Because racism is still around us —
C: Yes, there is that one page where there are a lot of “racism”s copied and pasted all over the place.
S: That’s true. That is a good way to show visually that racism is everywhere, pretty visible to many people who have to face it every day. But then there is also a page with 242 “really”s, and that page was fun, right?
C: Yes. It was fun to count! We counted them together!
S: Well, we did some basic arithmetic, so hopefully we got it right. But anyways, I do think this book could be a good conversation starter. So what do you say to end this review?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!