Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Could it be that night did not need to change, not even a little, not even at all?

This is such a beautiful story about understanding and loving who we are and the wonders of our own selves.

In a world where there is so much judgement, this book shows young readers how we need to be our own advocates, we need to trust that we are wonderful and we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. 

Sulwe is a young girl with skin the colour of midnight. She is darker than anyone in her family and the children at school call her names. She wishes she looked different.

Until she meets a shooting star who tells her the story of night and day and the time that night left because she was fed up being called ‘Dark’, ‘Scary’ and “bad’.

Through this story of night and day Sulwe sees how important differences are and that without these differences the world can be unbearable. 

Readers will see how important being kind to each other is through this story as they see how upset young Sulwe becomes from being teased.

They will also understand the importance of knowing just how great we all are and how much the world needs each and every one of us. 

Teacher notes

This is a great book to use in the classroom if any issues of bullying arise or lack of self esteem 

You can use this to discuss individual differences and things that make each individual proud to be themselves.

The author highlights that there is so much beauty inside ourselves that many people do not know about – don’t wait for them to tell you but know that you are wonderful because you choose to be.


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