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Chocolate Me! Hardcover – September 27, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


A Look Inside Chocolate Me!



Review

“With its universal themes of wanting to fit in, self-acceptance, and self-esteem, this read-aloud offering is sure to strike a chord with many young readers/listeners, and on a variety of subjects, not just race.” ―School Library Journal

“Taye Diggs can act and sing, and now he proves he can write. With Chocolate Me!, the affable Diggs makes an assured foray into the children's book category. Lavishly illustrated by Shane W. Evans, Chocolate embraces a difficult topic with wide arms: colorism.” ―Essence

“Actor Diggs, making his children's book debut, gives an unvarnished take on the emotional impact of taunting that cuts to the core of one's identity… Evans makes the hero's journey to confidence irresistible, with bighearted, stylized pictures that draw on the emotionally exuberant vocabulary of street art and anime.” ―Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; First Edition edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312603266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312603267
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I seen this author on Regis and Kelly earlier this week and he described this book. I immediately loved the title and the concept. I have two kids with different colored skin than eachother. I thought this would be a fun read for them while also showing them that they should embrace their differences. It has fun illustrations and simple story line. My fave part is when the main character's mother tells her son, "Your smile makes me so happy, I could cry. No amount of real money could buy how it makes me feel for real." I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
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Format: Paperback
This is a man with serious psychological issues regarding his own dark skin. Please do not read this book to your child & pass along messages of teasing and inferiority to children of any race/color. As an example, in this book the description of the child's natural features make him some kind of other because he is "different." Diggs has also written a book called Mixed Me. In that description the child is "perfect", "just right" with "lots of energy" and "awesome hair." There is a jarring negative connotation regarding the dark child in Chocolate Me, while the mixed child starts out as perfect. Many kids have not been exposed to this kind of skin shaming and there's no need for adults to teach it to them.

Chocolate me description:

The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.
For years before they both achieved acclaim in their respective professions, good friends Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans wanted to collaborate on Chocolate Me!, a book based on experiences of feeling different and trying to fit in as kids.

Mixed me description:

Mom and Dad say I'm a blend of dark and light:"We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right."
Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them.
Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
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Format: Hardcover
The majority of the pages in this book depict the ways that other kids make fun of the African American main character. E.g., "Your skin is brown like dirt. Does it hurt to wash off?" What?! Not the message I want my brown daughter to learn. That was how I grew up -- we need to teach new messages to the new generation. I imagine this book could be useful to teach kids how to deal with teasing, but my daughter is too young to have been exposed to any teasing. So, not a book I recommend for pre-school age kids.
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Format: Hardcover
This is truly a book for all families. A great read-aloud, with a wonderful message that kids can relate to (adults too). The art is gorgeous; inspired. Made my family smile, and talk about the story, the main character. So relevant for what kids are dealing with when they feel left out or different.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really appreciate Taye Diggs writing this book. It's one thing to see books that tell about how beautiful black is, but it's a whole other can of worms when you can address the realities of what it's like to grow up as the only dark skinned child among white kids. He presented the issue in a very creative and touching way. Even though my child isn't darker in complexion, it still helped me to approach a discussion with him about his physical differences as a little boy of color. Thanks, Taye!
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Format: Hardcover
This book has a cute title and colorful pages, but it is not appropriate for certain younger audiences. As an African-American woman, I found the language to be too harsh for reading aloud at an ethnically diverse library storytime. However, at home, my 6-year old daughter enjoyed the book because issues of skin color and hair texture have already come up.

I bought the book because of the title and cute cover. When I brought it home and read it to my daughter, she said that she wanted me to read it for storytime at the library. She REALLY felt proud and excited and said, "I'm chocolate too!" (although she's more like chocolate with a lot of cream--or more like mocha) However, I think that the catchy title and repetitive phrase, "chocolate me," brown-skinned face and the warm, feel-good ending pulled her in more than the beginning of the story.

When it came to reading the book aloud, although we are taught not to edit, I had to so that it wouldn't be so shocking. This is clearly a book written by a grown man who had childhood issues with his color. However, it is not appropriate for all children. Some kids haven't been exposed to this horrific reality of skin color discrimination yet. Once you talk about it, they become conscious of it. If my daughter hadn't started talking about these issues, I would never bring it up. I would want to shield her from this as long as possible.

The parts in there comparing his skin color to dirt and assessing his wide nose, I just couldn't read out loud to an audience of children ages 0-8. This book is targeting children who don't even need to think about those topics at their age.
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