Review: M is For Melanin by Tiffany Rose – The Book I Wish I had Read as a Child

Hi all! Today, I’m reviewing something that I normally don’t review: a children’s book! We’ll be taking a look at M is for Melanin by Tiffany Rose! Keep scrolling for my review, info about the book and author, and a fun aesthetic graphic I made just for this post!

I was apprehensive to join this blog tour at first, as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to give it a proper audience, but I’m glad that I did and I’m actually hoping to feature more diverse and unique reads from the kidlit publishing space in the future. I owe my current love of reading to the children’s books I read when I was young, so I think I have a bit of an obligation to continue to support and promote the genre that made me who I am today.

Thank you to Hear Our Voices book tours and the publisher for including me on this tour and sending me a copy of the book. 🙂

About the Book

Title: M is For Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child

Author: Tiffany Rose

Release Date: 10/1/2019

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | | Book Depository

Synopsis: M Is for Melanin is an empowering alphabet book that teaches kids their ABCs and celebrates Black children!

M is for Melanin
shining in every inch of your skin.
Every shade, every hue.
All beautiful and unique.

Each letter of the alphabet contains affirming, Black-positive messages, from A is for Afro, to F is for Fresh, to W is for Worthy. This book teaches children their ABCs while encouraging them to love the skin that they’re in.

Be bold. Be fearless. BE YOU.

About the Author

Tiffany Rose is a left handed illustrator and author. She is currently living and working in Paris, France. She’s a lover of coffee, massive curly afros, world travel, and little brown children being their quirky free selves.
She is a full time teacher, creator, and world traveler.

Rose saw a need for children of color, to be represented in children’s literature and illustration. She remembers what it was like as a brown child not seeing herself represented in the books and characters she loved so dearly. Rose recently illustrated a 12 month calendar titled In MyMelanin, which features the joy and beauty of black children. Her Imaginarium 2019 calendar will be out December 2018. Rose creates art so that the 14.2% of underrepresented children can see themselves reflected. ​Pencil in hand, she’s changing that percentage one illustration at a time. Rose’s debut picture book ‘M is for Melanin’ will be published in Fall 2019.

Review and #Ownvoices Reflection

I really enjoyed this book! I loved the adorable illustrations throughout and how colorful it was. It was aesthetically cohesive and beautifully designed. I loved looking at the characters, because they were all so varied. Hair colors/styles and skin tones were just a few of the ways that the characters of this book varied. We also had characters with vitilgio, albinism, hair loss, prosthetic limbs, and more. This is soo great, as kids will really be able to see themselves in this book no matter what they might be going through or look like. There’s so much variety and diversity within the black community itself, and I’m glad that she showed that off.

To speak of the actual content of the book, I was really pleased and honestly felt quite empowered myself, which I’ll get to later. Some of the alphabet words, like afro, hip hop, and black, were more directly selected for the black audience, but many of the words were more broad but still used in a way to empower young black children. Iconic phrases like “black girl magic” and “black boy joy” were used, which was great to see!

One thing that really stuck with me was the author’s note at the end, where Tiffany Rose mentions how black children are unrepresented in children’s literature, which is so true. In yesterday’s post I mentioned my wish for more diverse kidlit books featuring black characters. I’m glad that we’re seeing more and more black characters and other BIPOC characters in kidlit book these days, and I’m sure that diversity in publishing will only continue to get better.

I wish that there had been books like this when I was a young kid! This book really made me, a 22-year-old, feel quite empowered. For the majority of my life, I didn’t exactly embrace my blackness. It was a part of who I was and am, obviously, but I hid away some parts of it. I straightened my hair daily because I thought that was what society expected of me in order to be deemed “professional” or “clean.” It wasn’t until the day I turned 19(!!!) that I decided to embrace my natural hair and grow out my curls. I feel that if I had a book like this as a child I might have felt differently about myself, which is just one reason why books like this are so important for young readers. Reading a book that’s uniquely about your experience and culture is amazing and empowering.

All in all, I really liked this book! It was short and sweet (as a children’s book should be!) and really packed an empowering punch in just a few pages.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Aesthetic

M is for Melanin had such a unique and colorful art style that I felt such a need to jump on my tablet/laptop and doodle a little graphic that somewhat matches the aesthetic of the book itself. “C is for Creative” was one of my favorite pages in the book, as I feel like that really describes me! I hope you like it!

Thank you so much for reading and celebrating this book with me. Please check out the tour schedule here for more fun content and reviews!

Follow me on Instagram for book pictures, mini-reviews, and more!

Check out my shop, Total Bookish Eclipse!

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