NONFICTION

M Is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child

little bee books. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499809169.
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PreS-K–This is a joyful tribute to, for, and of black children everywhere. It begins with “A is for Afro. Your hair makes a statement. Embrace the bigness of your hair. Pick it. Fluff it. Love it,” and ends with “Z is for zillion. There will be a zillion people telling you to do something else or be someone else. Always be your free, talented, quirky, imaginative, melanated self. The world will adjust.” The sentences are abundantly sprinkled with rich vocabulary (i.e., vibrant, unleash, remembrance, unapologetically). Each letter is large and filled with a bright, colorful design that mirrors the message. Many statements and individual words are in bold, upper-case letters to add emphasis, such as “NEVER DIMINISH YOUR SHINE” on the page for S. With this debut picture book, the author seeks to represent black children in ways she never experienced in the books she read as a child. The positive, upbeat vibe will no doubt appeal to most children but is especially aimed to inspire black children.
VERDICT A must-have for any library that is in need of books with positive representation for and about black children, as there is no other alphabet book quite like this one.

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