Book Review: The Colors of Us

The Colors of Us
Author: Karen Katz
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

Description From the Publisher's Website: 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.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: A couple of weeks ago I attended a lecture on Culturally Responsive Teaching. I walked away feeling energized about all the diversity books sitting on the shelves in my office. But I also made a pledge to buy even more! I've been checking out The Colors of Us from the library for years. And now I own a copy! If you have students do self-portraits....this is a must read beforehand. Do you really want them just reaching for brown, white, orange, black, and yellow or would you rather them mix colors so they can define their own skin color? I want kids to ignore all the skin color labels and be the generation that sets a new standard. It can truly happen if we take on this attitude. Hey, they are looking to us for the example. So I'm going to hold true to my commitment. This is a fantastic book and also goes great with The Skin You Live In. I've taken a pledge this year to pump up my diversity shelf...I hope you do too.

A Link to This Book:


  1. Thanks for these suggestions! I really appreciate books with this theme!


  2. I have used The Colors of Us numerous times and it is one of my favorites. Check out some of the lessons I did using this book:

  3. So lovely to have you over at Kids Book Review! I think your blog is sensational, too - and will happily add you to our blog roll. Warmest, Tania