As a mother of biracial children this book hit a cord. Lulu the One and Only is about a young girl named Lulu. She has a white father and a Black mother. Her parents are constantly asked if they are the nanny or babysitter, or if their children are adopted. Lulu, herself, is asked to explain her racial identity with the question, “What are you?” This is very relatable, and I appreciate how the author does not shy away from including these questions as they are common experiences for multiracial families. In the story, Lulu learns from her brother that she needs to come up with a “power phrase” so she automatically has a response. Her brother states, “it helps people understand who you are, not what you are.” This is brilliant and one of my favorite parts of the book. I love how the author lets children know that there are many things that make them who they are and it’s the whole of these things that are important.
For multiracial kids, racial identity is something that can cause confusion to them and to others. It is important for them to be able to explain and be confident of all their identities. The author poses a serious question and breaks it down for children so they can easily explain to others who they are and grasp the answer themselves. I recommend this as a required book on every multiracial child’s bookshelf.
To pair with this book, I had my daughters make collages of things that they enjoy and make them unique. They were excited to see all of the things that make them who they are and proudly hung up their creations on the wall. For the second craft, they made ribbon buttons to wear. Their only instruction was to make something that represented them. This activity allowed them to be creative.
The author and illustrator have put together an activity guide to pair with the book.
Add this book to your collection: Bookshop
Author: Lynnette Mawhinney
Illustrator: Jennie Poh
Publisher: Magination Press
I was kindly given this book for my honest review, but all opinions are my own.
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