BPL Presents: Our Skin - A First Conversation About Race

Tuesday, March 16, 6:00 PM ET
Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, and Isabel Roxas
Live via Zoom. Free with RSVP through Brooklyn Public Library

Join co-authors Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, along with illustrator Isabel Roxas in this celebration of the launch of their new book Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race, the first in the new First Conversations board book series for children ages 2-6 from RISE X Penguin Workshop

Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and bodies should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way. Stunning art accompanies the simple and interactive text, and the back matter offers additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion.

A book discussion with BPL Outreach Librarian Sheneatha Frison will be followed by a read-aloud by the authors. Then a Q & A with the authors and illustrator will allow participants to get firsthand tips on how to engage young children in conversations about race using this book and other recommended resources. 

“Our greatest hope for these books is that they find all the people who need them, and support them in sometimes difficult but necessary conversations with the little kids in their lives! Kids notice and feel so much. We wanted to write books that honor the way they experience and learn about the world and to open up important conversations that are too often shut down or delayed. Young children are seeing differences, noticing inequities, and are ready to have conversations about why the world is the way it is and what they can do to make it right.”

--Megan and Jessica

Jessica Ralli is the Coordinator of Early Literacy Programs at Brooklyn Public Library, where she develops and manages programming for BPL's award-winning First Five Years initiative. She received her MA in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and previously taught in schools, childcare centers, and museums. She has written about early literacy and library services for young children in School Library Journal (where she co-authors the "First Steps" column with Rachel G. Payne) and has presented on play-based learning at the American Library Association Conference, Young Child Expo, and the Bank Street Center for Children's Literature.

Megan Madison is a lifelong student of radical Black feminism and an early childhood educator. She holds an MS in early childhood education from Dominican University and a BA in studies in religion from the University of Michigan. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy. When she's not working on finishing up her dissertation, she works as a trainer for the Center for Racial Justice in Education, the Human Root, and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, facilitating workshops for teachers on race, gender, and sexuality.

Isabel Roxas is an author/illustrator, micro-publisher, ceramicist, and avid reader. She was born in Manila, Philippines, and was raised on luscious mangoes, old wives' tales, and monsoon moons. She now works in the backroom of an art gallery in Manhattan where she writes and illustrates stories, designs books, and creates small objects in clay and resin. Her illustrator credits include picture books Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (2018 Newbery medal winner), Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê (named an NPR Best Book of 2016) and Day at the Market by May Tobias-Papa (2010 winner of the Philippine National Book Award).

Follow the series on Instagram @First_Conversations.

Click here to register for this event on BPL's webpage

Registered audience members will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.

Books are available to order from Greenlight for in-store pickup or direct-to-home shipping. Please allow time for shipping if not currently on our shelves. 

Event date: 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

Brooklyn, NY
Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race (First Conversations) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593382639
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Rise x Penguin Workshop - March 16th, 2021

Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.


Event Location: