Cover image for Shades of people
Shades of people
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 2009.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 25 x 29 cm.
Added Author:
Explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin is just a covering that does not reveal what someone is like inside.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY ROT 0 1
Book EASY ROT 1 1
Book EASY ROT 1 3

On Order



Cocoa, tan, rose, and almond--people come in lots of shades, even in the same family.

A celebration of the diversity of everyday life, this exploration of one of our most noticeable physical traits pairs simple text with vibrant photographs. At school, at the beach, and in the city, diverse groups of children invite young readers both to take notice and to look beyond the obvious.

Combining lively action shots and candid portraits, Shelley Rotner's photographs showcase a wide variety of kids and families--many shades, and many bright smiles.

For even younger readers, this title has also been adapted as a board book, All Kinds of People .

An ALA Notable Book.

Author Notes

Sheila M. Kelly is an author and clinical psychologist who has collaborated on numerous books with Shelley Rotner, including Families and I'm Adopted!

Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of more than thirty books, including Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food . Her collaborations with Sheila M. Kelly include Yummy! Good Food Makes Me Strong , a National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Book, and Shades of People , an ALA Notable Children's Book. She lives in Massachusetts.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-This book is filled with wonderful photographs of happy, smiling, inquisitive, trusting, and adorable children-all with varying skin tones, hair colors and textures, and facial features. "Have you noticed that people come in many different shades?" is the opening sentence, accompanied by framed head shots of youngsters. It is followed on the next page by, "Not colors, exactly, but shades." The text is minimal, with approximately 3 to 10 words per page. The last page features a large photograph of eight little hands of varying shades. The message is clear and to the point: "Our skin is just our covering, like wrapping paper. And, you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." A good introduction to racial and ethnic diversity.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Author and photographer join forces again in this photographic essay on skin color. Having previously tackled family members, feelings and faiths (May Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions, 2006, etc.), they now showcasein full colormany smiling, appealing, friendly, loving, creative, thoughtful, hugging, eye-catching young ones. The connection, rather than the difference, is that all these children are many different shades, "not colors, exactly. / There's creamy, ivory, / sandy and peach, / coffee, cocoa, / copper and tan." And all of this is "our covering, like wrapping paper." The authors take care to state explicitly that "you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." Children of many different ethnicities are here, sometimes in the same family. It's a heartwarming effort that teachers and families can embrace and will doubtless find its way into many a curriculum on celebrating difference. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

A beautiful variety of children's faces grace the cover and pages of this picture book, and the opening lines state the premise: People come in many different shades. Not colors, exactly, but shades. The intent of the brief text is clear: Our skin is just our covering, like wrapping paper. And you can't tell what someone is like from the cover of their skin. Candid shots capture a variety of young children playing on beaches, in parks and playgrounds. Posed portrait photos also display an assortment of skin shades from cream and ivory to peach, coffee, and cocoa. Filled with smiles and hugs, the pictures prove an upbeat confirmation of the book's central idea. Message-driven but charming, this will enrich and spark discussions of diversity.--Perkins, Linda Copyright 2009 Booklist