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Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color Hardcover – Picture Book, January 8, 2019
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From the Publisher
Honeysmoke Author and Illustrator Q&A
Q: What has it meant to you to work on this book and what does the idea of honeysmoke mean to you?
Monique: My favorite spreads are near the end of the book. That’s when Simone turns to her heritage and the environment to find her color. She notices her mother’s skin reminds her of the honey from the beehives at her grandmother’s house and that her father resembles the smoke that comes from her grandfather’s train.
Yesenia: Honeysmoke is a beautiful story that gives readers a peek into the nuances of mixed race identity through color. As an afro-latina, I really identify with Simone's quest to find her color since it's something I went through quite often growing up. Coming to terms with being not one or the other but something more of your own is a subject matter that I would've really loved to have seen when I was younger. Representation matters, seriously!
Q: The artwork is so vibrant and colorful. Do you have a favorite image or spread from the book and why?
Monique: My favorite are near the end when Simone turns to her heritage and the environment to find her color.
Yesenia: Definitely the one where Simone is laying in the grass, content because she's found her color! Monique's text for that page was so charming that I wanted to create the visual representation of that magic.
Q: What do you hope young readers will get from reading Honeysmoke?
Monique: My wish is for all readers – young and old – to discover their very own color word. I can’t wait to hear all of the beautiful words readers create.
Yesenia: I hope that readers will see that people come in many different colors and that you don't have to claim one that already exists. It's perfectly fine to be a color of your own, special and unique!
"Fields’ extensive experience writing about race and identity translates with beautiful simplicity here for younger readers, and Moises paints Simone with great tenderness... A terrific addition to the WeNeedDiverseBooks canon, where it joins such books as Selina Alko's I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother and Taye Diggs' Mixed Me!." ―Booklist
"My daughter, who is also multiracial, was asking about her own color word after reading the book. Monique Fields has multiracial kids herself... and this book serves as a kid-friendly way to start that conversation." ―Geek Dad
"Honeysmoke is so beautiful and true that it made me burst into tears of gratitude for what [Monique Fields] has given to us all. Honeysmoke should be in every library and gathering place of young children."
―Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance
About the Author
Yesenia Moises is an Afro-Latina illustrator and designer with a specialty in product design. Her work proudly portrays people of diverse backgrounds playing leading roles in fantasy adventures that are brimming with color. Yesenia is the author-illustrator of Stella’s Stellar Hair and the illustrator of Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color.
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The illustrations are incredibly gorgeous. Our family encountered the artist at the MOCCA art festival a year before the book came out and bought some of her stuff. To see that she's done such amazing work that touches my daughter so deeply is incredibly gratifying. She is hands down my kid's favorite illustrator, and my kid primarily reads comics, so that's a big deal. :)
to biracial children i.e. “mixed” or implications of being too different/bullied; I love how this book strayed from the stereotypical themes. Great book for all children.