“Bright Eyes, Brown Skin” is a book that shouts the need for illustrated picture books with non-white characters. Like Snow Tunnel Sisters, it serves a specific purpose getting books produced with brown-skinned characters in them. It would be well worth having in a library but would not be an “A-list” must have story. It is a poem that follows the day of some African American preschoolers. It highlights the attractiveness and joy of the preschoolers and their daily lives. The illustrations by George Ford are sweet. I understand why the Fords and Ms. Hudson made this book and why it has been published and purchased. There is need for this kind of portrayal of African American children.
This book could be useful for discussing who we see in picture books and on T.V. and how different ethnic groups are portrayed. Questions like, who would write this book, why would they write it, is it an important book, for whom is the book important, who else needs more visibility in literature or popular culture?
Thematic links – school, children, community, U.S.A., racism, skin colour.