Cover image for The skin you live in
The skin you live in
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Children's Museum, c2005.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : chiefly col. ill. ; 24 x 25 cm.
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY TYL 1 1
Book EASY TYL 0 1

On Order



With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose. Vivid illustrations of children's activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are also provided. This delightful picturebook offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children.

Author Notes

Michael Tyler is a freelance writer and fitness consultant. David Lee Csicsko is the illustrator of Behind the Lions and has created posters for the Leipzig Book Fair. They both live in Chicago.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This picture book takes a cheerful look at human diversity by focusing on skin. Rhyming verses describe the many experiences that can be had in it ("The skin you have fun in;/the skin that you run in;/the skin that you hop,/skip and jump in the sun in-"); the different shades in which it comes ("Your butterscotch gold skin,/your lemon tart bold skin;/your mountain high apple pie,/cookie dough rolled skin!"); and the things that it is not ("It's not tall skin/or short skin,/or best in the sport skin"). The poem ends by emphasizing the importance of the "`You' who's within" and pointing out that skin is something that makes individuals different and similar at the same time. Tyler's cadenced language makes this a very rhythmic read-aloud. Csicsko's vibrant and energetic illustrations are a perfect complement to the text and feature stylized children with elliptical faces and flowing fingers. Differences in the appearances of the youngsters go beyond skin color and include hairstyles, freckles, and eye shape. While somewhat lengthy-the metaphors seem to go on and on-this volume is an affirming addition to the collection of books dealing with self-esteem and multiculturalism.-Kathleen Meulen, Blakely Elementary School, Bainbridge Island, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This debut publication of the Chicago Children's Museum presents a jaunty rhyme that playfully explores the concept of skin to encourage self-esteem and to celebrate the ways in which children are both unique and similar. While Csicsko's cheerful, quirky art, which takes liberties with proportion and perspective, shows children of various skin colors engaged in different activities, the narrative invites readers to look at their skin: "The skin you have fun in; the skin that you run in; the skin that you hop, skip and jump in the sun in." The text then uses food-related metaphors as it pays tribute to skin tones: "Your coffee and cream skin, your warm cocoa dream skin... Your chocolate chip, double dip sundae supreme skin!" By pointing out what skin is not, subsequent verses affably emphasize that skin should not be divisive: "It's not dumb skin or smart skin, or keep us apart skin; or weak skin or strong skin, I'm right and you're wrong skin." Portraying four smiling children, the concluding spread declares, "when we stand side-by-side in our wonderful hues... We all make a beauty, so wonderfully true. We are special and different and just the same, too!" Though occasionally verging on saccharine, this spry poem delivers its message with appealing energy and confidence; slightly older readers may enjoy Julius Lester's recent Let's Talk About Race, illus. by Karen Barbour. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

An earnest but energetic tribute to diversity, done up with postmodern arrays of smiling, stylized, lozenge-headed children paired to a rollicking celebration of: "Your coffee and cream skin, / your warm cocoa dream skin . . . / Your chocolate chip, double dip sundae supreme skin! / Your marshmallow treat skin, / your spun sugar sweet skin . . . / your cherry topped, candy dropped, frosting complete skin." Tyler also urges readers to think about the commonality of "The skin that you laugh in; / the skin that you cry in; / the skin that you look to / the sky and ask, 'Why?' in." Though he changes his tone and plies a verbal mallet to drive his point home in the last several verses, the earlier wordplay more than compensates--while glimpses of one child in a wheelchair, and another held by a biracial couple, expand the general theme to encompass more than skin color alone. A sonically playful, if just a bit overlong, alternative to Sheila Hamanaka's All the Colors of the Earth (1994). (Picture book. 6-9) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.