Skin Again by bell hooks

bell hooks is widely known and recognized for feminist theory, examining culture and race, and writing.  Skin Again, which was published in 2004, is one of hooks’ published children’s books.  The book addresses the issue forming opinions or making judgments based on skin color.  The beautiful illustrations done by Chris Raschka compliment hooks’ poetic telling of two people, different by skin color, explaining that while their skin color is a part of them, it is not all of them.  

I selected this book for our multi-age preschool classroom library when we were studying the human body.  Students had many questions about our skin, why some of us are lighter or darker then others, and they wondered if it mattered.  I wanted to explain to the students the importance of skin and how it  protects the insides of our bodies.  In our diverse classroom, students from various ethnic backgrounds joined together daily to work, play, and solve problems.  I think that as early childhood educators, it is important for us to acknowledge the differences that make us each unique while also creating an environment that helps us focus on the types of friends we are to each other and that even though we are all very different, we each have the ability to be strong, to be kind, and to be loved.      

  • What kinds of questions have your students asked you about diversity?
  • How did you feel when you were asked these questions?
  • Is there anything you would change about your answers to these questions?  Why or why not?