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Shades of People Paperback – June 10, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—This book is filled with wonderful photographs of happy, smiling, inquisitive, trusting, and adorable children—all with varying skin tones, hair colors and textures, and facial features. "Have you noticed that people come in many different shades?" is the opening sentence, accompanied by framed head shots of youngsters. It is followed on the next page by, "Not colors, exactly, but shades." The text is minimal, with approximately 3 to 10 words per page. The last page features a large photograph of eight little hands of varying shades. The message is clear and to the point: "Our skin is just our covering, like wrapping paper. And, you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." A good introduction to racial and ethnic diversity.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH END --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Filled with wonderful photographs....A good introduction to racial and ethnic diversity." (School Library Journal )

"Beautiful....Message-driven but charming, this will enrich and spark discussions of diversity." (Booklist ) --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823423050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823423057
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Shades of People, published in 2009, is a fantastic introduction of the diverse skin tones of people. Typically at around three years of age, children begin to notice that not all people look alike. Because children love to look at other children, this book is a great way to introduce conversation about one major difference - skin tone.

Over fifty photographs of real children of various ethnic backgrounds and in shades ranging from "ivory" to "very dark" adorn the pages of this Scholastic book by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. Children are described as creamy, sandy, copper, cocoa, almond and rose. Because the authors focus on the word shades rather than colors, they evoke the idea that all people belong to the same color scale, but land in different areas of that scale, thus drawing attention to what people have in common as well as their differences.

I love that all the pictures show happy children. Sometimes they are alone or with one or many friends. Sometimes they are with their family members who may or may not be the same shade. The book also includes mixed families and adoptive families to show that you can't even tell about a person's family by merely looking at them.

The authors' comparison of skin to wrapping paper is appropriate for children and really helps my preschoolers understand that skin is just a covering. After reading this book, we hard boiled a brown egg and a white egg. We talked about how they are the same and different on the outside. Then we peeled them both and discussed what we saw on the inside. We had a great discussion about skin as a covering for the inside of the body. That led to questions about how we don't think the same even though our muscles and bones are made the same.
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Format: Hardcover
There are all kinds of people, but have you ever noticed how many different "shades" there are? "Not colors, exactly, but shades." If you look through the pages of this book there are many different children of all shades. You can see creamy, ivory, sandy, peach, coffee, cocoa, copper, tan, pink, rose, almond, "shades of gold," bronze and brown. Some people range from very light to very dark and "you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." Some families have many different shades. Just take a look around you and think about all the different shades that you can see. Perhaps you can find a child in this book who has the same shade as you do!

This is a very simple, yet beautiful book with a powerful message. Each page has at least one full color photograph while a few have several. There are many lovely children's faces of many different shades, but they all have one thing in common and that is the fact that they are little human beings. The photographs were very professional and the minimal dialogue compliments them nicely. I think this is one book that won't become "dated" and would be a great addition to any shelf of any shade!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My four year old son had recently asked me why there are people that are different colors than he was. This book totally helped him understand that just because a person is a different color than him they are no different than he is. It really helped me open up a discussion about race with him. I explained to him that just because someone is a different color doesn't mean he is better or worse than he is. We are all the same.
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Format: Paperback
Great book, just enough text to allow for a discussion and the kids in the book are just ADORABLE! The use of color shades and descriptions such as creamy ivory, cocoa, bronze and golden are really fantastic. It is important that we honor and recognize the differences in cultures and races, and this is a really great book to use for a discussion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's really important to me that, even out here in massively white suburbia, that my child grow up with diversity as part of his appreciated social norm. This book introduces that appreciation in a way that is age appropriate for toddlers. What isn't age appropriate, though, is the book's binding. My son really wants to flip the pages back and forth and point at all the features of every child's face (as toddlers do), and this binding just can't handle it. Reissue it on board book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my five year old son who has just started noticing the different races. The pictures are great and the way they describe skin like wrapping paper really helped him understand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 2-1/2 year old daughter loves this book, even though there isn't much of a story line. She loves to look at all the photos of all the kids, and I think at this age it is useful just for her to see kids of different races playing together and having fun. I like how the book emphasizes that people come in all different "shades" as opposed to talking about races or using words like "black" and "white" that may be confusing for such a young kid who thinks so literally about things. I'd rather introduce terms like those when she is old enough to learn that skin color doesn't necessarily tell you much about a person's ancestry (i.e. not all "black" people identify as African American, and not all latinos have darker skin than hers, etc.), and get more into discussions of cultural diversity rather than just skin color.
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