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SHINE BRIGHT by Kheris Rogers


by Kheris Rogers ; illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-06-306478-2
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

In this picture book from a teen designer and author, a young girl gets advice from her big sister on dealing with hurtful bullying.

Imani is an active, dark-skinned Black child who loves dancing, singing, and skating. She also loves to introduce herself to others at the skate park. But when she hears the others—who include both light-skinned children and those of color—saying, “She’s just so dark,” she becomes sad and goes to her older sister, Crystal, for help. Crystal advises Imani to “shine bright” and persevere and offers words of encouragement that counter the ways the other children made Imani feel, both about her appearance and her abilities. Crystal shows Imani the beauty of her dark skin and demonstrates how much she is loved. The next time Imani goes to the skate park, she chooses to be her positive self. Rogers, 16, explains in the author’s note that she drew on her own experiences with colorism to tell Imani’s story. She makes it clear that this is a story for anyone who has been made to feel bad about some aspect of their skin color, and she uses her own success in modeling and fashion as an example of overcoming difficulties. Rogers handles a difficult topic with a deft touch, and Roe’s colorful digital illustrations pair well with the decidedly upbeat tone of the text. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A straightforward and supportive work that tackles an important subject with warmth and optimism.

(Picture book. 4-8)