Beyond FICTION: MIXED ME: A Tale of a Girl who is Both Black and White by Tiffany Catledge
The little girl in Mixed Me addresses a number of potentially hurtful questions and comments some children hear all the time and often don’t understand or know how to answer. Questions such as “What are you?” or “Why don’t you have the same skin color as your mom (or dad)?” are answered cheerfully, with a positive message repeated throughout the text. Colorful illustrations by talented teenager Anissa Riviére add to the book’s appeal for young pre-readers and their parents or caregivers.
Tiffany’s bio on the MixedMe.org site includes insights into her own mixed-race childhood and motherhood. Tiffany approaches it all with a fun sense of humor as well as the divine ability to accept others’ unintended insults with much grace:
“My mom always got the stares from people wondering what her affiliation could be to all these brown-skinned kids—I am one of five. Similar to what I get now raising my own family. I have six kids and my last two are blond and blue eyed! I can’t tell you how many people ask me if I am their nanny!”
I doubt I’d be that cheerful about folks assuming I was my kids’ nanny (though I was asked once if I was watching someone else’s children and managed to let that slide). Thankfully as our world becomes more diverse and more books like Mixed Me are published, such misunderstandings—and questions—will become fewer and farther between.
MIXED ME: A Tale of a Girl who is Both Black and White belongs in book collections for children right alongside classics such as Black, White, Just Right! Kudos on a very special book, Tiffany!