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The Colors of Us

by Karen Katz

Published by Henry Holt and Company, 1999
28 pages
ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Ages 4-7

By mixing her paints in just the right combination, Lena’s artist mother is able to reproduce the beautiful cinnamon shade of Lena’s skin and the paler tones of her own face, “the color of French toast.” “But mom,” Lena says, “brown is brown.” “That’s not so,” her mother replies. The mother-daughter pair take a walk around the neighborhood to appreciate the beautiful and diverse skin tones of all their friends and neighbors. Mr. Kashmir, the spice vendor, is “the color of ginger and chili powder” and “Aunt Kathy is tawny tan like coconuts and coffee toffee.” Katz’s vibrant collage, gouache and colored pencil illustrations celebrate the many “colors of us” to be found in this interracial family and neighborhood. (Gretchen Aiyangar, CCBC Reference Assistant) ©2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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