BROWN SUGAR BABE by Charlotte Watson Sherman


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 9
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A caregiver responds to a child’s misgivings about being brown skinned by extolling the beauty of being a “brown sugar babe.”

Brown feet in toe shoes step over lion paw prints; a silhouetted figure wears a large Afro. An adult addresses a child: “When you were born, it was dark / behind your sleeping eyes.” Soon after discovering “a world of color,” the child declares, “I’m pink,” and resists when the adult responds, “You’re brown like me.” The adult then lavishes upon the child—and readers—an almost dizzying number of endearing, beautiful, and often unusual expressions of what brown means. Brown is silent, like “tree rings that tell time,” or loud, like “the squeal of a violin.” Brown is accomplishments, like “a tutu and ballet slippers / poised to take flight,” and brown is affection, like “an after-bedtime-story / kiss goodnight.” Brown “has its own special flavor,” feel, smell, and sound. Warm images of children and loving adults in gold and dark browns hues complement the rhyming, poetic text, which is set in a large type that emulates hand printing. Perfect for responding to or preventing the feelings of inadequacy that too often plague brown-skinned children, this book begs to be shared as a read-aloud with cuddles.

Soul food. (Picture book. 3-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-63592-138-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019