“My skin is another color. Daddy says cafe con leche or a mezcla—a mixture of both colors. A color all my own.”
Extractos/Excerpts from/del libro para niños; the children's book: Marvelous Maravilloso
Por/By Carrie Lara
A young girl explores color with the help of her parents
Colors make the world pretty, colors make the world interesting and beautiful.
Without them everything would look the same.
People are different colors too. Colors are a part of us. Our colors make us beautiful and unique.
Many people can see the beauty of my family, and I can see the beauty of their families.
How Children Understand Skin Color
Children begin to notice and respond to skin color cues around six months of age; however, at this age, they do not yet attach the concept of skin color to cultural or racial categories. In the early years, children identify skin color as more of a descriptive factor of the individual.
Around the age of three to four, children begin to identify and group people according to “racial” physical characteristics, but in more generalized terms. They may not understand complexities within these general groups; for example, a child this age may not understand that two people with the same color skin can belong to different cultural or racial groups. They can understand that skin has the same scientific purpose for everyone, regardless of the color of their skin.
Race is a socio-political construct that affects the way that institutions and individuals within a society respond to people. By three years of age, a child is starting to be exposed to media, school, community settings, and other influences outside of the family. There is evidence that at this age, societal messages begin to affect a child's ideas and beliefs, including the way they feel about themselves and their group identity.
Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family is published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association.
Carrie Lara, who received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology through Alliant International University of San Francisco in 2009, specializes in working with children and families, foster and adoptive youth, and learning disabilities and special education. Dr. Lara has had the opportunity to work in different socioeconomic and diverse communities professionally, and personally has a bi-cultural family. She hopes her book supports families having conversations about cultural identity during a child’s early stage of developing a sense of self.
Christine Battuz obtained a master of arts degree from l'Ecole de Beaux Arts de Perugia in Italy. Her delightful illustrations can be found in over 60 children's books and magazines.