LUPITA NYONG’O has debuted the cover for her debut picture book Sulwe.
The Us actress took to social media to share details on the highly anticipated book, which has been acquired by Puffin.
In an image posted on Instagram of Nyong’o holding a copy of Sulwe, she wrote: “I wrote a book! It’s called #Sulwe! This is the cover! I’m thrilled to share it with you. Sulwe is out October 1 and is available for pre-order today at the link in bio!
“The extraordinary @VashtiHarrison illustrated the story. I wrote #Sulwe to encourage children (and everyone really!) to love the skin they are in and see the beauty that radiates from within. #Bookstagram #ChildrensBooks”
Sulwe, which is scheduled for UK hardback publication on October 1, is a powerful, moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.
Sulwe is a five-year-old girl growing up in Kenya. Her name may mean “star,” but her skin is as dark as midnight. Being darker than anyone in her family, and anyone in her class, makes Sulwe feel uncomfortable. She is determined to find a way to lighten her skin, until a reminder from her mother – and an unforgettable adventure in the night sky – shows her where her beauty really lies.
Colourism, or the preferential treatment of those with lighter skin, is an issue across the globe and impacts children from a young age.
Nyong’o herself has experienced the harmful effects of colourism and has spoken about how it hurt her self-image as a child.
In Sulwe, she candidly shares the consequences of growing up in a world that favours lighter skin, offering a healing story that will entertain children from all backgrounds while providing a story that helps them see beauty in themselves and others.
PICTURED: Illustrator Vashti Harrison
“As a child, much like Sulwe, I was teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin,” Nyong’o stated in an earlier press release. “It made me feel unbeautiful, unaccepted, and impacted my confidence.
“It is painful to see that the preference for light skin prevails. My goal in writing Sulwe is to provide young children with a path towards embracing their own beauty, regardless of what society tells them.”
Of Harrison’s artwork, Nyong’o said, “Sulwe is a character near and dear to my heart, and seeing her brought to life through Vashti’s illustrations is thrilling.”
Harrison, who was recently shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, commented: “It was truly a very special experience to be a part of bringing Sulwe to life. The story has an incredibly moving and powerful message, while at the same time shares a fun and whimsical adventure.
“I wanted to infuse every page with as much elegance and thoughtfulness, as much magic and wonder, so readers would want to come back again and again.”