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Written by Lupita Nyong'o & illustrated by Vashti Harrison
5.19 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.6 / 5.0
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used $14.33
Oct 15, 2019
Publication Date
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What's Sulwe About

Publisher Summary

From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

What Kind of Book is Sulwe

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Quotes from Sulwe

  • “Brightness is not from your skin, my love. Brightness is just who you are.”
  • “Real beauty comes from your mind and your heart. It begins with how you see yourself, not how others see you.”
  • “Day told her sister, ‘When you are darkest is when you are most beautiful. It’s when you are most you‘ Could it be that Night did not need to change, not even a little, not even at all?”

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Sulwe felt alone because of how she looked, and it made her feel like she wasn’t good enough. Have you ever had similar feelings, where you felt like you didn’t fit in or weren’t good enough? How can you, like Sulwe, appreciate who yourself for who you are?

  • As the shooting star shares, Night and Day are both needed to make the world strong and beautiful. Do you know people who look different, have different cultures, or have different talents? How do all of your differences make the world beautiful and strong?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
5.0 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.0 / 7.0
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.25 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.5 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Sulwe

Book Topics › African Americans
Children's Books About African Americans
Book Topics › self-esteem and self-reliance
Children's Books About Self-esteem And Self-reliance
Book Topics › antiracism
Children's Books About Antiracism
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Who Wrote Sulwe

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan actress and producer. Her first feature film role was in the film <i>12 Years a Slave</i>, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as multiple accolades, including the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Critics’ Choice Award, the Independent Spirit Award, and the NAACP Award. She has since starred in Mira Nair’s <i>Queen of </i><i>Katwe</i>, <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i>, Ryan Coogler’s record-breaking box office hit <i>Black Panther</i>, and most recently in Jordan’s Peele’s critically acclaimed horror film <i>Us</i>. Nyong’o earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in Danai Gurira’s play <i>Eclipsed</i>. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Who Illustrated Sulwe

Vashti Harrison

Vashti Harrison is the author-illustrator of the <i>New York Times</i> bestselling picture book <i>Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History</i>, which is also a NAACP Image Award winner. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in Media Studies and Studio Art, and received her MFA in Film and Video from CalArts where she snuck into Animation classes to learn from Disney and Dreamworks legends. There she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now, utilizing both skill sets, she is passionate about crafting beautiful stories in both the film and picture book worlds.

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What Has Lupita Nyong'o Said About Sulwe

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Lupita know that you want more details about Sulwe!

What Has Vashti Harrison Said About Sulwe

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Vashti know that you want more details about Sulwe!

Lupita Nyong'o's Book Dedication

For Sekai, the newest star in our night sky

Vashti Harrison's Book Dedication

For Lupita

What Do Critics Say About Sulwe

  • Starred Review

    “After learning how Night and Day are both needed, Sulwe knows that she is “dark and beautiful, bright and strong.” Harrison’s glossy illustrations faithfully render the features of black people, allowing the beauty of different skin tones to shine, with deep purple tones in the darkness, reinforcing the story’s message.”

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  • “Though a bit uneven in its storytelling, this beautiful book covers an important topic rarely addressed for young audiences, with tenderness and joy. Sure to gain attention in picture book collections.”

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  • “By turns beguiling . . . and magical . . . the volume also clearly conveys that colorism is real, and it hurts. Sulwe’s story confronts it head-on . . .”

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Did Sulwe Win Any Awards

You bet it did. Check it out below!

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Book Details

Publication Date:
October 15, 2019
Text Details:
The text for this book was set in Young Finesse 9.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations for this book were rendered using Adobe Photoshop.
Word Count:
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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