Book Review

SULWE by Lupita Nyong’o

Rating: 5 / 5

I do not have children and I do not have kids in my life that I regularly read with, so when the Reading Women Challenge for 2020 included a picture book, I wasn’t sure what to read. I decided to go with the book that popped up in the chat about the prompt the most often, SULWE written by Lupita Nyong’o and with illustrations by Vashti Harrison. After putting it on hold at the library a couple weeks ago, I saw a few posts this past week about books for children going around featuring SULWE as well, so I was excited when my library hold came in a couple weeks early.

SULWE is a pretty short book, so I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but the title character is a young girl who doesn’t find beauty in her dark skin, described as the color of midnight, especially when compared to those around her. As is the case with the cover, the illustrations throughout the book are absolutely gorgeous. The beauty of the art and the use of light and dark really bring extra life to the story to life as Sulwe learns more about beauty. When I finished, I had to go back and go through it all again! I was especially touched by the author’s note after the story where she talks about the ties between Sulwe and her personal story when she was younger.

I am always glad that the Reading Women Challenge puts books on my radar that I wouldn’t otherwise encounter and this is certainly one of those. I am very glad to have had the chance to read this one though and it is one that I think would be enjoyed by many.

Reading Challenges:

#ReadingWomenChallenge – a picture book written/illustrated by a BIPOC author

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