This month, we are reviewing the multicultural book “How our Skin Sparkles” by Aditi Wardhan Singh. We have previously reviewed her first book “Strong Roots have No fear”, you can find that review here.
Every few months we will be reviewing a multicultural book and interviewing the author of the book, you can find past reviews and interviews here.
“How our Skin Sparkles” by Aditi Wardhan Singh is about a boy asking his mom about why his skin seems to be a different shade than his classmates and even his own family. His mom answers his questions through science, but also relates it to their family history and culture as well as a few other clever ways. This book is a great read for kids who may be struggling with this same question because it provides them with valuable information on how to respond when dealing with this issue.
Miss F’s first reaction when we started reading this book was “well how does our skin sparkle, because I don’t see mine sparkling.” After reading the book, she still didn’t really understand what that meant, therefore, we continued the discussion about pigmentation and melanin using the example of paint. I told her that if we added a little bit of black paint to the red then the red would get darker. I explained the same for the white, if we add white to the red, the red will start to get lighter.
What is a multicultural book?
Books that contain characters of color as well as main characters that represent a minority point of view. Books written by an author of diversity or color from their perspective. Books that share ideas, stories, and information about cultures, race, religion, language, and traditions. These books can be non-fiction, but still written in a way that kids will find entertaining and informative. Books that embrace special needs or even “hidden disabilities” like ADHD, ADD, and anxiety.TAKEN FROM MULTICULTURAL CHILDRESN’S BOOK DAY WEBSITE
This book would be a great addition to a multicultural section of the library in a home or school. This book is considered to be a multicultural book because it shares about Indian culture and Hinduism with the mention of Krishna; the names of the characters are Indian; the food that they eat is Indian; the author is Indian and the issue of skin color which many minority families experience is discussed.
A relatable book for kids
Most parents who are raising multicultural or biracial kids would agree, the issue of skin color is brought up many time. We have encountered comments from people about how our children don’t look like their origins, just like the book says, each person has their unique color. “How our Skin Sparkles”, is not only relatable for kids but presents them with arguments they can give when people comment about their skin color.
For without different colors, can a rainbow be exciting?My kids favorite quote from the book, How our Skin Sparkles!
All the flowers would be dull, no garden inviting.
It matters not what people say or what they look like.
It is everyone’s choice, what they like or dislike.
Great opportunity for further discussion
The book also provides many opportunities to invite further discussion with children. The author has a list of suggested conversation starters in the back of the book. She provides information about the history of Krishna and the shakarpare bites, I think my kids and I would enjoy making these together. Also you could continue the discussion of your family history and heritage with these tips as well.
Interview with the author, Aditi Wardhan Singh
How can we teach our kids about multiculturalism?
Raising kids to be culturally aware is an important aspect of building a strong identity. Conversations about the same about various topics as they relate to various sub cultures is a big part of this journey. No matter what book, movie we watch, if we do not have the conversations that grow from them and talk about the empathy we need to have for people of other cultures and why, the children will not grow to be global citizens.
What are some ways that multicultural children could change the world?
Racism is prevalent all through the ages. It grows in minds held stagnant by age old beliefs. Thought processes need to grow with time and so do our children. If our children can have the birds eye view of the world, they can make decisions and create products that cater to worlds unknown.
How could one encourage multicultural education?
– Celebrate different festivals, read different books, watch movies with subtitles. These are the 3 easiest ways one can do the same.
Why did you decide to put together a book about multicultural children?
My children books series aims to provide parents with easy ways to talk to children about the important ways they can build a strong sense of identity. I desire to create books that help build a growth mindset that is global in nature.
What is one thing you hope to teach your children?
To live a life inspired to be better that yesterday and have empathy for all.
Aditi Wardhan Singh is award winning, best selling author of Strong Roots Have No Fear and How Our Skin Sparkles. She is an authoritative voice on cultural sensitivity and empowerment. Featured on numerous global publications and broadcast networks, she is the founder of the RWC magazine encouraging other voices like hers to come forth to create unique resources for parents everywhere so children can be global thought leaders. In her spare time, she enjoys choreographing recitals, volunteering and having dance parties with her two charming kids. She also writes for various well known publications like Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmond Family Magazine etc.