Book Review: Colorfull by Dorena Williamson
“Seeing yourself is almost like a message. It’s saying; you matter, you are visible, and you’re valuable.” – Christian Robinson
Why pursue colorblindedness when we can be Colorfull instead?
How we answer that question is what speaker, writer, and church planter Dorena Williamson discusses in Colorfull—a joyful story and celebration about friends learning about their different skin colors.
With its rich watercolors and conversational prose, Williamson’s story points to God as the creator of a world and people with so many wonderful colors.
Imani and Kayla are the best of friends who are learning to celebrate their different skin colors. As they look around them at the amazing colors in nature, they can see that their skin is another example of God’s creativity!
Imani’s wise Granny Mac encourages curiosity and observation for the children as they venture out of doors. “Well isn’t that something” she adds, nudging them to look around and imagine.
This joyful story takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to be colorful.
Williamson writes: “Like a diamond forged through the fire, I realized the value of years in multicultural church work. I felt a passion stirring to help people outside my circle take off colorblind lens and put on kingdom lens. I realized that my seeds of thought could be a book to help children and adults alike experience the beauty of God’s diverse kingdom.”
Toni Morrison says, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” And so Williamson crafted a manuscript and queried publishers. Closed doors fueled more writing until Colorfull became a reality.
Colorfull shows children the exceptional diversity of our racial colors, our unique gifts, and our socioeconomic status.
Colorfull is Williamson’s first literary work and the message is clear: to be fully present and aware of the colors God made! Plants, animals, and especially people—are all created intentionally and with purpose.
“I think many of us avoid & struggle with race conversation because it’s uncomfortable. It stirs up painful images of a brokenness we think is in the past. It’s a challenge to our know-it-all-or-google-it society.
So we shush our kids’ questions about other people’s race. We teach them to be colorblind. We leave their God-given curiosity open to ignorant and damaging views to fill. We tell ourselves we don’t see color.”
Illustrations © Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu courtesy of B&H Publishing Group