Working in a library which a richly diverse community, I am always on the lookout for books representing everyone who comes through our doors, and I can usually rely on publisher Lantana to provide that. They’ve hit the nail on the head with their latest offering, I Am Brown, written by Ashok Banker and illustrated by Sandy Prabhat. I’m thrilled to join the blog tour and share this glorious book with you.
This picture book is a celebration, a celebration of diversity, of the different things that make all children individual and a clear message to children that they can be whatever they want. We all know the saying “beauty is only skin deep”. I Am Brown delves deeper to discover the things that help to define a person regardless of their skin colour. A young girl, proud of her colour, heritage and all that she is, demonstrates to the readers the incredible diversity in every child. Varied likes and interests, different homes, different places of worship, it goes on and on to show how truly individual every child is. It’s a joyous look at human’s uniqueness and about embracing who we are.
This is not just a book about being brown, it’s actually a book that shows that every child, regardless of their looks, is an individual, that every child has something in common with others and some things, well not so much. We are all different, and that is something to sing about.
Ashok’s writing is just lovely here, it has a simple joy to it, and flows so neatly across the pages, you can’t help but read this with happiness and a smile. Sometimes the simplest of text can say the most and it’s so true of this delightful read.
The illustrations by Sandhya Are stunning, bursting with character and reflect all the joy and celebratory feeling of the text with a delightful retro feel, I honestly adored them from the first look. So many variations of skin tone are shown, again to reinforce the idea that no child is completely the same. The colour pallet is so unusual in this book, with rich warm browns, teals, greens ending in sumptuous oranges, it’s not like anything else I’ve seen, and it just stands out as a beautiful and expressive work of art, whilst also perfectly telling the story of all children.
I Am Brown is a really clever, well thought out premise for a book. It’s there, importantly, for those children who don’t see themselves in books as much as they should, yet it’s also there to show all children that no human is the same … and yet no human is completely different too. This book is fundamentally the voice of every child, and every child is amazing.
Simply one of the most joyful books I have seen for a long time. I can’t wait to share it in my library.
I Am Brown is released on Thursday 5th March 2020 and will be available from all good bookshops and libraries.
To find out more about author Ashok by visiting his website:
Illustrator Sandhya can be found on her website:
And of course Lantana Publishing continue to do what they do so well on their website:
Thank you to Lantana for sending me a copy of this book, and thank you for reading this Book Monster review. Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!