By Elizabeth Wroten
Picture Book Review: Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
On 02, Sep 2016 | In Review | By Elizabeth Wroten
From Goodreads: Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them.
Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
My daughter asked to read this one after we bought Chocolate Me! which is from the same author/illustrator team. She loves that book and was really excited to get this one from the library.
I love these books too. They’re very affirming for any kid with differences. Chocolate Me! is about skin color and being black in a world where a lot of children aren’t (this is certainly the case for an African American students in my school). Mixed Me! is about a little boy who is mixed race. It’s a little more upbeat that Chocolate Me!, but both books are completely charming.
I know it shouldn’t need to be said, but any kid who has something different about them (note: that’s every kid!) can see themselves in these stories. Mixed Me! focuses on how Mike sits between two races and how people want him to “choose a side” while he wants to be friends with everyone. Mike also addresses how he and his family don’t appear to go together. I think most kids can identify with that at some point, whether siblings don’t look alike or step parents are in the picture. I think the book touches on some really universal childhood anxieties and conflicts of finding a group of friends and being liked for who you are. Mike is a fun, confident kid and his perspective is refreshing and endearing. Kids will like him no matter what their own life experience.
The illustrations in Mixed Me! look like collages. Fabric is used for the clothes and other details are made from different papers and textures. Mike is charming with his big hair and bright clothing. The scenes with him and his parents are really sweet.
I highly recommend both these books for their warm and fuzzy stories about fitting in without conforming and loving yourself. They would also go along with beginning-of-the-year themes of friendship, acceptance, and identity. Worth it for any library.