- Age Range: 5 - 6 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Series: I Am (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 52 pages
- Publisher: Stranger Comics; 1st edition (August 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0578110873
- ISBN-13: 978-0578110875
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 114 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Am Mixed (I Am Book) Hardcover – August 7, 2013
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I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian A. Jones
Review by Award Winning Author Nicole Weaver
My heart is singing with glee after reading I am Mixed. I am especially happy for the many mixed race children, because they now have a book they can identify with. I wish this book was around when my kids were young.
The authors Sebastian A. Jones and Garcelle Beauvais have done a great job writing this important book. The story is about twins Jay and his sister Nia. The authors portray the twins like any other children, living life and doing the same type of things all children do, regardless of race, creed, or color.
I love the part of the story where Nia talks about being asked funny questions. Here's an example:
When I go to school, I get asked funny things. Like, Your hair is bendy like curly, wurly straws. It is not straight like Sally's or thick like Lenore's.
The reply Nia gives is right on:
I say, I am all these things and so much more. I am all things fine and fair and coarse. And beautiful brown.
After having raised three mixed race children, I have learned to be kind when people ask stupid questions. I still remember, the day one woman, had the nerve to ask me if I was my daughter's nanny. I did not get upset; I simply smiled and said no.
Mixed race children often have a difficult time identifying with their parents, because society wants to define which parent they should identify with. I loved it when Tiger Woods took a stand and said he is both black and Asian. My three children had to deal with the same type of issues.
I think the best way to help mixed children handle the pressures of being mixed is for the Mom and Dad to have a strong love for each other. All children regardless of race need to observe a strong family bond. That type of stability will help weather all of society's curb balls. In my family, hubby and I often spoke honestly to our children about any questions regarding race issues. We were able to diffuse all the negatives that were hurled their way.
I believe strongly in the old adage: A family that plays together stays together. In the book, the authors did a great job showing the family having fun together.
This charming book will be a great resource for all families. People in general need to learn we are all the same. I think the authors portrayed that very well.
My favorite part of the book is:
I am the best from all over the world. I am like every boy and girl.
The illustrations by James C. Webster are top notch. As you move through each page, the artwork grabs and holds your attention.
I recommend this book for every home, because all children can learn that we are all the same. --Nicole Weaver - blogcritics.org --Nicole Weaver - blogcritics.org
From Bleeding Cool:
Race is still a sensitive subject around the world, no matter how much we try and fool ourselves into thinking it s not. Arguments have been made that since President Barack Obama was elected, racism is over in America, or since the Supreme Court struck down the 1965 Voting Rights Act, discriminatory practices that disenfranchised diverse voters are no longer issues to worry about. And let s not even begin with the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin discussion.
One of the reasons that issues with race continue to harm our society is simply due to tradition in some households. It would be easy to assign the blame to specific southern states or certain cultures, but it s a lot more complex than that. Racism can be found no matter where you look, but combating it is something that everyone can do to make sure it will eventually die out in a few generations. The children are the future (God help us), and they re also the key in promoting acceptance as they grow up in a rapidly changing society.
Enter the children s book I Am Mixed from Stranger Kids (a division of Stranger Comics). I Am Mixed not only promotes tolerance, but it also does a wonderful job promoting individuality. No matter who you are or where you came from, you re a special and unique person. If you re mixed and we all are in some capacity you should be proud of your heritage and embrace it with pride.
We follow twins Nia and Jay (who are influenced by Garcelle Beauvais own twin children) as they frolic and explore what makes them so special about being mixed. Their parents love them immensely for who they are, and their different backgrounds help Nia and Jay discover all sorts of things about both cultures that other children might not be fortunate enough to enjoy.
The illustrations by James C. Webster fit the warm, welcoming tone of the book and keep you scanning each page to see what the woodland creatures are doing in some of the backgrounds. The painted fuzzy feel of the illustrations gives you a feeling of warmth as well, and adds great texture to both Nia and Jay. The trio of frogs that pop up every few pages are incredibly silly, and will without a doubt make your own child smile.
In the back of the book the writers do something that I admire greatly; they have a family tree for the reader to fill-out, inviting children to discover their own family history and opening up a larger discussion of where they came from and what cultures they re a part of. The book then continues with the reader s involvement as it invites you to draw a portrait of yourself, and fill out answers to questions about your family. Finally there are more discussion questions for parents and children to talk about, and figure out why it s so great to celebrate being mixed. There s a foreword from Halle Berry who also praises being mixed, for she s one of the best known celebrities when it comes to fully embracing who she is and wearing it with pride in every movie she makes.
Children need more books like I Am Mixed to help them learn where they came from and embrace people of all races. It s baby steps like this that will lay the foundation of the improved society to come, and produce more tolerant and accepting cultures across the globe.
I Am Mixed perfectly educates while it entertains, and should be in every library, classroom, and bedroom worldwide. It makes me excited to see what comes next from Stranger Kids and the I Am book line.
I Am Mixed (Stranger Kids) Written by Garcelle Beauvais & Sebastian A. Jones Illustrated by James C. Webster
Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy s Comic Corner and Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Sonoma State STAR. -- Cameron Hatheway of Bleeding Cool--Cameron Hatheway of Bleeding Cool
This could be the perfect book for kids of any age. It could also be the perfect book for adults of any age. I AM MIXED tells the story of twins Jay and Nia, but it is so much more than the story of two multiracial kids.
I have to first say that the illustrations by James C. Webster are amazing. It's so refreshing to see a picture book with great pictures! But, it's not just a picture book; it's much more. Preschoolers will love listening to the adults in their lives read the story and they can look for the fanciful hidden animals on each page.
I have noticed that most books about or for multiracial children become trite and preachy about how biracial kids are the best of both worlds. Not this one. It shows things light and dark and the beauty in both. It also deals with some common things our kids get asked like hair texture, and does it in such a way that presents it casually and naturally.
Four of my favorite pages read like this:
I am a Cuban painter with brush in hand.
I am a Haitian farmer healing the land.
I am a Chinese Dragon in search of Mars.
I am a Mexican sailor who travels afar.
The authors delve into different cultures with ease and grace. There is even a bonus family tree in the back of the book and an about me page that can both be filled in and individualized; fabulous additions!
Yes, this absolutely delightful book has everything. Although I would have preferred the terminology of multiracial rather than mixed, it does not take a thing away from the need for this book to be in every home and library.
- Susan Graham - projectrace.com--Susan Graham - Project Race
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