“Daddy, Why Am I Brown?: A Healthy Conversation About Skin Color and Family By Bedford Palmer II, Ph.D., Illustrated by Winda Mulyasari (2019) – paperback

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What a wonderful conversation-starter for parents and their children! The story follows Joy, a mixed race girl, and the conversation she has with her dad when she realizes one day that she isn’t the same color as either of her parents. The conversation that transpires is carefully and expertly crafted by the author, Dr. Bedford Palmer, a licensed psychologist that also provides multicultural competence training to individuals and corporations. Joy is biracial, her dad is Black and her mom is identified as “Asian.” However, I inferred that she was Chinese as Joy uses the word “Popo” throughout, which is the Chinese word for grandmother. Mulyasari’s vivid and expressive illustrations add to the charm of the story. 

The bonus content that Dr. Palmer includes at the back of the book is such an amazing resource, including a vocabulary list, discussion questions, and activity ideas all related to race and culture. I can’t wait until my biracial daughter and I can start having meaningful conversations about her heritage and identity while using this book as a primary resource for those healthy conversations. (She is currently 1 year and 1 month old!) This book should absolutely be in every daycare and school across the country. 

Take-away message: There are so many great lessons to take-away! Here are a couple: 1. Your natural skin tone is a part of your identity, a reflection of your ethnicity. 2. You cannot judge a person’s character based on their skin color alone. “You have to spend time getting to know them!” 

TAGS: Black, Chinese, female lead, mixed race, brown skin, family, nuclear family, father-daughter, self-published, paperback

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