This Could Help So Many Families

Erlin Kakkanad Author Interview

Happy in Your Skin follows young Rafa as he learns why his skin is brown, his Indian heritage, and self-love and shares what he learned with others. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

This story was written for my child when he had questions about why he looked different from the others in his preschool. I felt unprepared to anwer the question right away, but then I told him stories about India and our family lineage. I searched for books that could tell our stories and unfortunately I didnt see books with Indian charecters. so I worte the story that I would want to tell him. I got it illustrated and read the copy to him. He said “Rafa, is just like me!” this was the first time I saw him connecting with a charecter. I thought this could help so many families to learn about these strategies to address skin color questions for early learners.

How do you see your book fitting into teachers and parents lesson plans on diversity and inclusion?

When questions and curiosities about race are not addressed, Children start forming their beliefs based on the stereotypes they see in the media. This book is a resource for teachers who are looking to add new ways to help children learn to embrace everyone’s uniqueness and give children a sense of pride and security in who they are. Cirriculum that is focused on  helping and prepareing our young children to become exceptional future leaders through cultural sensitivity and awareness, this one will be a great add to open discussions around ethnicity and culture.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

I loved creating the scene where the parents sit Rafa down and share the proud Indian Heritage with him which includes the art, dance form, historcial monuments, National bird, National flag, history, music, food.. and more. there is so much beauty that needed to be captured on one page and I love how that came together for that scene.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book I am working on is when Rafa experiences criticism about his food which looked and smelled different during lunchtime in school. Food is comfort and everyone has a unique relationship with their foods. Rafs learns to share his food and ethnicity with his class friends and introduces his peers to authentic cultural tastes from his family’s recipe book. The Book Name is I Love Curry and I’m not Sorry – By Erlin Kakkanad. The book will be out in June 2023. 

Author Links: Facebook | Website | LinkedIn

Do you want to enhance your child’s multicultural, diversity, & inclusion skills?
Children’s books on diversity and inclusion – There is an absence of cross-cultural/ethnic books in K-12. Especially, books written by parents having first-hand experience. This book is a good tool for parents and teachers who want to help their kids understand diversity and that everyone is OK no matter how you look.

Children become Ally’s – Research shows that talking about issues like race, gender, and by including readings for diversity and social justice from the age of two increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows children to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice.

You Belong Here – This would be the perfect addition to all families, classrooms, and libraries. It is a simple story to teaches all kids, not just children of color, the importance of being kind and accepting.

Let’s develop our little people into future inclusive leaders – All children want to feel like they fit in, and this story teaches us we can be ourselves and shares why difference in each of us are wonderful. Children are curious and are open to questioning what they see. Grown-ups often post-pone conversations on complicated topics because it’s hard to know where to begin.

You will Love it – ADD TO CART today for your reading collection.

This book tells the story about Rafa, who is in preschool and is curious about why his skin color is different.

Young Rafa has a wonderful family. They are from India and now live in the United States. Rafa loves where he lives, but sometimes he gets strange questions that he doesn’t know how to answer.

“Why are you brown?”
“Why are you so different?”

At first, Rafa did not have the tools to navigate these questions… until he talks to some of the adults in his life!

It turns out that many people have gotten questions like that, and they can help him with what to say! His doctor, teacher, and parents help Rafa understand who he is and how to be proud of that.
Dear parents and teachers, Here is why I wrote this book:
Why is my skin color different? This was the question my preschooler asked me.
While it was hard to process at the moment for me, I knew I needed to help my child navigate through these feelings and curiosities about his identity.
When questions and curiosities are not addressed, Children start forming their beliefs based on the stereotypes they see in the media.
This book is a tool for parents to navigate questions about differences and give our children a sense of pride and security in who they are.
A resource for teachers who can help children learn new ways to embrace everyone’s uniqueness.
My mission through this labor of love is :
To help all young children to become exceptional future leaders through cultural sensitivity and awareness
For parents to know that you don’t have to do it all alone.
Erlin Kakkanad is a mom, Ph.D. in Education, promotes cultural sensitivity and awareness for children, youth, and adults in corporations; and raises Asian Indian American children in the Midwest.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 27, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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