Henry Holt, 1999
For kids, even very young ones
Endpapers: Hands of different browns and sizes around the border
I've been reading book after book to Ella these past few days. I'd been looking at the hardcovers, and when I began hunting in the paperbacks, I was tickled to find a Karen Katz title. Her illustrations are distinctive, her message simple and clear.
Lena wants to paint her friends, so she asks her mother, an artist, how to mix the color brown. Which brown? They take a walk outside to check out the many different browns that people's skin tones can be. They see her friends, the retailers, relatives - all with a different shade of brown skin. Then Lena goes home and mixes the right color brown for each of the people that she wants to paint. Cinnamon, honey, chocolate, coffee, toffee.....yummy and right-on.