I Am Brown

From the Series Lantana Global Picture Books

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Brown-skinned children around the world laugh, love and play together in this infectiously joyful book.

I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you’re in—of being brown, of being amazing, of being you.

Teach Early Years Award Finalist 2021. UKLA Book Awards Longlist 2021. Derby Children’s Book Award Longlist 2021. BookTrust Best Books Guide 2020. A Guardian Children’s Book of the Month

“A note-perfect hymn about acceptance, pride and belonging”—The Observer

“Upbeat and uplifting”—Kirkus Reviews

“An empowering book for all children to read and a beautiful reminder about self-love, dreaming big, culture and self-acceptance”—Here Wee Read

“Such a joyful book! A must-have for your shelf, and definitely schools and libraries”—Bookbairn

“A total joy to behold. The gorgeous illustrations and story provide a positive mantra for all children of any ethnicity and background – with the central message that you can be anything you want to be, don’t hold yourself back. Highly recommended”—BookTrust

“This is not just a book about being brown. This book is fundamentally the voice of every child, and every child is amazing. Simply one of the most joyful books I have seen for a long time. I can’t wait to share it in my library”—Book Monsters

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lantana Publishing
Imprint Lantana Publishing
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2020-03-03
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV074000, JUV039140, JUV030000
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9 x 9.75
Features Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Teaching Guides

Author: Ashok Banker

Ashok Banker is the bestselling author of more than 63 books which have sold more than 3.2 million copies in 21 countries and 61 languages. I Am Brown is his debut picture book.

Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat

Sandhya Prabhat is an independent animator and illustrator from India. She has published nearly a dozen picture books. She also animates videos and designs e-stickers.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Lantana Global Picture Books

Lantana Global Picture Books are inclusive and international stories celebrating every kind of child and family, because all children deserve to see themselves in the books they read. With a focus on #ownvoices authors from under-represented groups, these stories make a… View available downloads →


  • UKLA Book Award Longlist, Long-listed, 2021
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2021


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“Banker and Prabhat have created an exuberant celebration of brownness in a child-sized picture book context. The presentation of the text is simple; it is a list poem that begins with the titular declaration of brown identity. Through the book, we see a little brown girl with unforgettable flying pigtails, as well as a rich array of brown kid figures, demonstrating love and friendship, occupations, national origins, languages, facial hair or the lack of it, eye color, homes, interests, food preferences, and clothes. Two-thirds of the way through the book, we find a spread with examples of relationships that commonly exist in communities—a friend and partner, a teacher, a driver, a guru, and more. Then we return to two final ways in which difference can be celebrated: religion and accomplishments. For the former, the author shows a variety of places of worship; the latter includes drawing a picture, building a building, and running a company (and a race). In the bottom right corner of the penultimate spread, we turn the page to reveal a triumphant set of words: “I wrote this book.” The final spread speaks directly to the reader, stating: “I am YOU.” The palette, brown-red-orange with vivid blue and green contrasts, infuses the whimsical art with warmth. This would be a good companion book to All the World by Liz Garton Scanlan." —Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)


“Clearly intended to counter the negative messages that dark-skinned children encounter early in their lives, the book bursts with love and energy, in the images and in the words.”—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

“Beginning with a child sporting exuberant puffball pigtails and broadening into a community of brown-skinned children, the figures in this joyful picture book love the skin they’re in.”—Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“The global outlook is a refreshing corrective to often confining Western understandings. . . .This message of the normalcy and joy of being brown is upbeat and uplifting.”—Kirkus Reviews