A timely book about how it feels to be teased and taunted, and how each of us is sweet and lovely and delicious on the inside, no matter how we look.
The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.
For years before they both achieved acclaim in their respective professions, good friends Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans wanted to collaborate onChocolate Me!, a book based on experiences of being African American, feeling different and trying to fit in as kids. Now, both men are fathers and see more than ever the need for a picture book that encourages all people, especially kids, to love themselves.
Preschool-Grade 2. Actor Taye Diggs remembers his childhood in a mostly white neighborhood with this sweet paean to self-love. A five-year-old boy finds hanging out with his white friends upsetting. When we’d play, they’d say, ‘Look where your skin begins! It’s brown like dirt. Does it hurt to wash off?’ Each one of these innocent, though uncomfortable, questions—about the boy’s hair, his wide nose, and his bright white teeth—are met with a despondent illustration and the chorus: Chocolate me. The lack of exuberance these two words carries a carefully controlled tension, as if the boy has been through this before and a hatred of his own body is beginning to fester. Of course, a pep talk with his mother turns that morose refrain into a joyous exclamation, and soon he is happily cavorting with his less-chocolaty friends. Diggs draws emotion from simplicity, while Evans’ visible brushstrokes in the boy’s skin and in the spirals of his hair let the audience know that he is a beautiful kid, far before the kid himself figures it out.