Review: The Proudest Color

Written by a pediatric psychologist and a family and marriage therapist, The Proudest Color by Sheila Modir, Jeff Kashou, and Monica Mikai is a gorgeous picture book that uses positivity to teach children about racial identity.

Title: The Proudest Color
Author: Sheila Modir and Jeff Kashou
Illustrator: Monica Mikai
Publisher: Familius
Published: September 7, 2021
Format: Picture Book

The Proudest Color opens with a young girl named Zahra who relates all of her favorite colors, drawing parallels between color and emotions. But one day at school, Zahra experiences discrimination when a fellow student tells her she doesn’t like her brown skin. Zahra is suddenly no longer proud of her brown skin, until her parents remind her of the wonderful things brown means.

The Proudest Color provides an excellent example for parents and caregivers on how to have healthy conversations about discrimination with children. More importantly, this example focuses on how to address the shame children may feel when they experience discrimination and replace it with pride.

I also really appreciated the way The Proudest Color is not directed specifically at any “target reader”. Every family can benefit from Zahra’s story and young readers can learn the impact of their words, as well as all the reasons they should be proud of their skin.

The illustrations by Monica Mikai are wonderful. I especially appreciated the crayon theme throughout, and the way Zahra’s drawings show us what she’s feeling.

With an amazing note for parents and caregivers in the backmatter, The Proudest Color is an excellent resource for anyone who is looking to introduce young readers to cultural socialization.

The Proudest Color is available wherever you normally purchase books, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Familius for providing me with a review copy of such a wonderful book! I am so grateful to be able to share it with you all today.

About The Authors:

Sheila Modir is a pediatric psychologist, and Jeffrey Kashou is a marriage and family therapist. As Middle Eastern Americans (Iranian and Palestinian) and as clinicians, they advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and work toward promoting resilience in children.

About The Illustrator:

Monica Mikai is an illustrator and former educator. She has an MFA from the New York Studio School where she studied painting and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and her two sons.

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