Top positive review
I though a book published in 1992 would have outdated ideas on racism. I wrong.
Reviewed in Canada on January 31, 2021
Full disclosure, I am a white person, so if you see a review by a POC, I feel their opinion should be valued over mine.
Leave it to Sesame Street to be decades ahead of its time and write a simple and timeless book about racism. This would be a great first book to introduce your children to the idea that we may look different, but we are all human. The statement in the book is “we are all the same”, but the statement itself, to me, does not have the overtones of pushing the “colourblind” garbage they rolled out in the 80s/90s. “The same” in this context seems to be clearly saying “human” vs. culturally the same or having access to the same privileges. These more complex topics are not brushed upon in this book as it is aimed at an audience that would likely be too young to grasp them. You may feel you need to clarify or identify what “we’re all the same means” and you may not. If you are looking for a book that shows we are all human but also begins to touch on inequalities that different groups face, you will have to look elsewhere. The book is a simple concept repeated: a body part is shown, say a nose, and the picture shows many different noses, all shapes, sizes, and colours and we see how noses can be different. But then on the next page it will explain how these different noses are also the same because they can all smell and sneeze. Then it wraps up with a conclusion about how bodies look different but we as humans are all the same. In kids that are a little older, I could see it eliciting some easily answered questions like why do people have different skin tones, to which you can talk about how melatonin works to help combat racism they may be exposed to. But in toddlers, I think they would simply take the information in at face value and enjoy the book and learning that there are all kinds of different people in the world outside of their family. I say start early and start often with teaching children about racism. I think is a great first primer.