My Mocha Skin

Children - Social Issues
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/27/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

True beauty is said to be skin-deep, but we have to live in the skin we’re given. So we may as well accept it and see ourselves as beautiful. Why? Because we’re all beautiful, no matter what our skin color is. In Anna Casamento Arrigo’s My Mocha Skin, a young girl explores her inner and outer beauty. Her observations begin with her hair: “I love the way my hair/ forms a halo around my face.” How beautifully said! And that’s not all she loves: she loves her skin, the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it makes her move with grace and dignity and so much more. In other words, her skin makes her feel beautiful both outside and in; from a girl who loves to sing, dance, and read to a girl who enjoys family and friends, people of all colors.

Anna Casamento Arrigo’s picture book, My Mocha Skin, is a tender story about a young girl and her ability and willingness to feel good about herself, something we all need to do. Told in rhyming verse and the first-person narrative, from the young girl’s point of view, this story explores the beauty within all of us, both visibly and deep inside our very beings. It’s a simple story, written in simple language so young readers can easily follow along and improve their reading skills. It’s also a powerful story with an important message about differences and acceptance, not only accepting ourselves, who we are, and how we look, but accepting others, too. The illustrations by Jryona are sweet and endearing, just like the story. Loved it!

Luwi Nyakansaila

My Mocha Skin is a heartwarming children’s picture book written by Anna Casamento Arrigo with illustrations by Jryona. It tells the story of a little girl who celebrates her unique features and takes pride in the way they make her look beautiful. Throughout the story, the little girl talks about her hair, which forms a halo around her face, her radiant skin, her bright smile, and many other lovely features. She is also happy to have a singing voice that brings joy, loves to read for fun, and is skilled in playing, dancing, and drawing. The little girl has a diverse group of friends and family who love her for who she is, and she is proud of her heritage. Through her story, the girl hopes to inspire everyone to love themselves and embrace each other's differences, knowing that we are all unique and special in our own way.

My Mocha Skin is an uplifting book that promotes self-acceptance and appreciation of diversity. The story is told from a child's perspective with colorful illustrations. It is sure to touch the hearts of young readers of all backgrounds and adults alike, giving a positive message of embracing one's unique qualities. The book celebrates individuality and beauty in all forms. Anna Casamento Arrigo does an excellent job of conveying the book's messages and engaging the reader. I loved the layout of the text which is separate from the art, making it beneficial for children who struggle with reading. Providing clear and distinct visual elements can certainly enhance the reading experience for individuals with different learning styles or challenges. Accessibility in literature is crucial, and it is wonderful to see it implemented in such a thoughtful manner. I enjoyed this book and highly recommend sharing it with your children to teach them to love themselves and embrace each other’s differences.

Zahid Sheikh

My Mocha Skin by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a heartwarming poetic story of a young girl who is proud of herself and promotes self-love. This small mocha-skinned American girl tells anyone who reads her story how grateful she is for herself, her beauty, and her uniqueness. The uplifting descriptions of her hair, skin, nose, smile, and ears are straight from her heart, making readers imagine themselves there. The author skillfully takes the audience on a journey through her life as a person of color and brings her vast experiences to life by discussing the themes of belonging, resilience, and embracing diversity. The story covers the importance of readers embracing their individuality and being proud and happy to be who they are.

Anna Casamento Arrigo’s uplifting and powerful words encourage readers to celebrate diversity and fight against societal pressure that devalues the freedom of choosing who we are and how we look. Through her thoughtful descriptions, the author promotes positivity, self-love, and happiness. While I was reading, the author made me realize how unique, beautiful, and worthy I am. The illustrations by Jryona are bright, vivid, and full of life. The colors are impressive which makes the story look fresh and appealing. The images turn the story into an imaginative reality where everything is beautiful. Anna’s words make us feel a sense of pride and be kind to others. I highly recommend My Mocha Skin to adults and children who want to read a heartwarming story, enjoy the feeling of happiness, and help people around them see the importance of acceptance and understanding each other.

Pikasho Deka

What makes you special? Everyone is unique in their own way, and being comfortable in one's own skin is crucial to living a happy and fulfilling life. Narrated through rhymes from the point of view of a child, Anna Casamento Arrigo's My Mocha Skin is an empowering tale about a young girl who loves everything about herself. She loves the shape of her eyes, how her ears rest against her face, and how her voice sounds when she sings. But that is not all. This girl also likes the colors of the rainbow, spending time with her friends, and she reads because it's fun. She plays and dances and eats all kinds of food. Grandma's cooking is especially her favorite. Mostly, she loves being herself!

Short, sweet, and heartwarming, My Mocha Skin is a beautiful celebration of the qualities that make each of us unique. Using singable rhymes and inspirational words, Anna Casamento Arrigo captures a child's state of mind, showing how they see themselves and perceive the world around them. This children's book reminds us to love ourselves. The main protagonist is unnamed, encouraging the reader to insert themselves into the story and express the things they love about themselves. Do you love to dance or play video games? Or maybe you like to read and watch cartoons. Find out your passions and interests and all the things that make you 'you.' As an adult, this book definitely put a smile on my face. For young readers, it will remind you of your best qualities while giving you some catchy rhymes to sing!

Philip Van Heusen

What a refreshing and enjoyable book My Mocha Skin by Anna Casamento Arrigo is! A young girl with mocha skin shares why every one of us is special. Even though we are different and unique, we are special and should learn to love being ourselves. This book is full of positive statements written in rhyme. Children will learn words of affirmation and consider themselves in an uplifting manner. The young child in this book has friends from all races because she has learned to value herself and others. Not only does this girl appreciate the color of her skin, but she also lauds the uniqueness of her face, nose, ears, and every other part of her body. Help your child describe themselves positively as they review their body, skills, and personality. Learning to accept ourselves is the first step in learning to accept others.

Too many children and adults struggle with self-acceptance. Anna Casamento Arrigo compassionately addresses this issue in My Mocha Skin. Using a simple rhyming style, Anna encourages all children to accept themselves since they are the only ones who can be them. We may envy others, but when we learn to accept ourselves, we understand that we are the only ones who can be us. As parents, we must encourage our children with affirmations and help them realize their uniqueness. They are unique and worthy just because they are who they are. The young girl in the story discovers self-love and accepts that it is ok to be herself. As you read this book with or to your child, open discussions of why they are special and how they can celebrate being the best individual they can be.