Perfect Picture Book – Chocolate Me!

Chocolate Me!

Taye Diggs, author and Shane W. Evans, illustrator

Feiwel and Friends, September 2011. Fiction

Suitable for: Preschool and Up

Themes:  Racial,  Diversity,  Self-esteem, Self-respect

Synopsis: “Sitting on my stoop when I was five not like Timmy or Johnny, or even Mark.  Though I wanted a name like theirs.  Chocolate me.  When we’d play, they’d say, ‘Look where your skin begins!  It’s brown like dirt.  Does it hurt to wash off?  Chocolate me.”   A boy recognizes that he’s different when his friends ask him why his skin is so dirty, his hair so poofy, his teeth so white, his nose so big and wide.  His feelings are hurt until he discovers he’s perfect in every way.

Why I Like this book:  Chocolate Me! is a touching story for children of color who sometimes feel different and left out.   It has a very simple message, love who  you are even if you look different from your friends.   The book is also for families who want to start teaching their children about diversity at an early age.  Activity:  This is a beautiful book for classroom discussions about diversity — how we may look different and how we are alike.  For classroom activities and resources visit Precious Children: Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

Copyright (c) 2011,  Patricia Howe Tilton, All Rights Reserved

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

20 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book – Chocolate Me!

  1. Another great entry, Pat. I can see I’m going to have my work cut out for me reading all these fabulous books everyone is posting! Looks like a trip to the library is on my to-do list 🙂

  2. This one tugged on my heartstrings just from the description. I hadn’t heard of this book, and appreciate you sharing this. You have a unique and important niche in the PB blogging arena!

    • Thank you Julie for your lovely comment. The book just came out in September. It is an excellent story that can be used to teach kids we aren’t really that different. I review PB, MG and YA books that target special topics and needs. – Pat

  3. The books you find are always excellent, Pat, and you are definitely building a unique and special place for yourself in the blogging world. Your blog, itself, is an excellent resource.

    This book sounds great! Thank you for sharing it.

  4. This is the theme in my picture book I am busy with writing at the time, my current WIP. Thanks for this entry as I haven’t heard of it and haven’t run across it in my research.
    It’s on my list when I go to the library to put on hold. A valuable lesson indeed.

    Ps. Have your book you did a post about , ” E-mergency” now. It’s just as cute as you said. May be my Picture Book Friday for next week.

    • That is so great. I am happy you are addressing the theme in a picture book. Oh, I’m very glad you are reviewing E-mergency for the Perfect Picture Book Friday. My author/interview with Lichtenheld prevented me from including it. So, I’m happy someone else is going to review it! It has been named by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top picture books for 2011 and written up in the NYT. — Pat

  5. What a sweet looking book, I love the cover. I remember a woman many years ago telling me that when her daughter first saw a child of color she called him a little rusty boy, and when her son had that same experience, he called the child dirty. We live with such diversity today that it can be easy to forget that children need to be educated about appreciating our differences.

    • Ruth, thank you for sharing that story. It is easy to forget the young children may not understand. Chocolate Me! is a perfect book for young kids. There also is a wonderful book by Karen Katz called, “The Color of Us.” I reviewed it Augst 21 under Celebrating our Uniqueness and Diversity. It is about Lena, a young African-American girl who is confused by the many shades of color of friends, even her mother. The mother is an artist, so she begins to mix paints — chocolate brown, cinnamon, peanut butter, honey nutmeg, amber and so on. She takes her on a walk and they discuss the colors of their friends. And, Lena goes home and mixes paints and draws the pictures of each of her friends and family in their beautiful colors. Love that book. — Pat

  6. Thanks to Stacy’s and a few other comments here, I am reminded of a book I reviewed when I first started blogging about being different, yet the same, not sure if you knew it “Molly,Millie” by a New Zealand author. I must re-review that one for next Friday’s Perfect Book. Thankyou for reminding me.

  7. I was reading about Chocolate Me! and I remembered this phrase ““No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela.
    This book sounds really great! I hope it helps kids to learn how wonderful the racial and cultural diversity is. We are just the same.

    • Welcome to my blog Laura. Thank you for the inspiring Nelson Mandela quote. It was so appropriate for this story. I share your sentiments. Cultural diversity is what America is all about. I also agree with your comment that we really are just the same. Why is it so hard for other to get that? Thank you for stopping.

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