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What is your Chocolate Me! story? Everyone has one!

In Chocolate Me! written by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, a young boy is teased by the kids in the neighborhood for his darker skin color. The young boy, upset and confused, then inquires to his mom, who tells him that we are all unique in our own way and we should embrace our differences, it’s the thing that makes us all special! Love your chocolate skin, for it is part of you! Chocolate Me! is all about finding your own sweet inside. It is about individuality, positivity and accepting each other’s differences.

In June 2012, I got the chance to do some work with Shane W. Evans, and during that time he asked me, “What is your chocolate me story?”

Photo by Marty Umans

I had many favorite cartoons growing up as a kid… Actually, I still do!

One of my favorites was the short lived, Sheep in the Big City, created by Mo Willems. Even though his first solo show, only lasted for two seasons, Mr. Willems has many other strong credits to his name that include television shows, Codename: Kids Next Door, Sesame Street, and for those watching cartoons in the 90’s, KaBlam! Mo Willems has since then, also created a line of hilarious easy reader children’s book that guarantee to make you laugh. Below are some of my favorite easy reads from Mr. Mo Willems, hilarity and lessons in all.

I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusacks/ illustrated by Pricilla Burris

My daughter complained the other day, "You're working all of the time.
I never get to spend time with you!" Ouch. Seriously, is this what all kids with working parents think? I'm a single mom. There have to be others out there in the same situation as me.

There are. Statistics prove it. According to the American Census Bureau's 2007-2011 Community Survey (as found on Kansas City Public Library's American Factfinder database), 40.4% of households in KCMO with related children aged 18 and under are headed by a female with no husband present. How many moms are working to put food on the table and a roof over their kids' heads? That's a lot of kids whose mamas are not home with them for at least some part of their waking hours. The statistic doesn't even count families with two married parents who both work.

Okay, so a big portion of Kansas City kids have at least one parent who works outside the home. How does this relate to the Library? Bibliotherapy. That's a big word with a simple meaning: books that address an issue. I found some picture books that speak directly to this situation.
Here are a few that I like best:

I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusacks/ illustrated by Pricilla Burris