by Alicia D. Williams Illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu
As a little boy grows into a bigger boy, ready to take on the world, he first must have that very difficult conversation far too familiar to so many Black and Brown Americans in this gentle and ultimately hopeful picture book.
All Black and Brown kids get The Talk--the talk that could mean the difference between life and death in a racist world. Told in an age-appropriate fashion, with a perfect pause for parents to insert their own discussions with their children to accompany prompting illustrations, The Talk is a gently honest and sensitive starting point for this far-too-necessary conversation, for Black children, Brown children, and for ALL children. Because you can't make change without knowing what needs changing.
Target Age: 5 to 8
"The prose is conversational and light, but as the protagonist grows throughout the pages, older readers will still feel represented and invested in the story. Read this with younger readers who may not have had the Talk yet, or read it with older kids to talk about what it was like before the Talk. The warm illustrations hint at the racism the protagonist experiences but more prominently capture the love he feels in his home, and the focus on characters over setting allows for Williams' words to soar." -- Booklist
"This powerful picture book about race, family, and growing up is an essential purchase for every library's collection, putting words to an impossible and necessary conversation, and giving children whose families don't have 'the talk' a window for understanding and an opportunity for compassion and change." -- School Library Journal
"This portrayal of a close-knit family and Jay's Black kid joy is as warmhearted as it is resolute, while digitally rendered illustrations by debut artist Uchendu depict desaturated instances of racial prejudice as well as brightly hopeful portraits of Black luminaries, providing an emotive realism to Jay's maturation and his family's greatest fears and dreams." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Contributors:
Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent; and picture books Jump at the Sun and The Talk. A graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University, and an oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Briana Mukodiri Uchendu is an illustrator, visual development artist, and a first-generation Nigerian American. Her work is inspired by her interests in folklore, film, and animation and her passion to highlight voices that usually go unheard. A recent graduate from Ringling College of Art and Design where she majored in illustration, she currently lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The Talk is her picture book debut.