Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar and Noor Sofi

Hello, Supriya Kelkar! Hello, Noor Sofi! Congratulations on Brown Is Beautiful. I read it three times tonight. It is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I love how brilliantly the art and text work together.

Supriya, you write in your author’s note how very specific childhood memories inspired Brown Is Beautiful.

Supriya Kelkar: Hi John! Thank you! I’m so thrilled you liked the book. Thanks for having us on. It’s always so fun to be here chatting books with you, friend!

I got the idea for Brown is Beautiful when I thought about those childhood memories, whether it was classmates in Michigan saying something derogatory about the color of my skin, or a relative buying a fairness cream for me when I visited India, the implication was the same: there was something wrong with brown. I wanted to write a story that challenged that idea, and that’s how Brown is Beautiful was born.

Noor, please finish the following sentence starters:

Brown Is Beautiful’s title page is a representation of the character before she heads off on her journey. She's a blank book, ready to be filled! I like to think that all of us start off as unwritten books just waiting to be written with adventures and stories of our lives! At the end of the book we see how her scrapbook is now brimming with the memories that she experienced on her journey.

Supriya Kelkar’s manuscript for Brown Is Beautiful is so masterfully done! It's wonderful to see a story that expresses a topic that no one really discussed with me while growing up. Reading her story has opened my own eyes to observing the earthiness and poetic elements that can be felt from this color.

Supriya, please finish the following sentence starters:

Noor Sofi’s illustrations are like reading a movie. They’re cinematic, stunning works of art and I’m so honored to have my words paired with them in this book.

Brown is a pancake breakfast with family, a walk in the woods with neighbors, the color of my friend’s hair, which ripples like a river as she laughs, the color of my children’s eyes, kind and proud, the color of my skin, the color of me. Brown is beautiful. It is a hair color, an eye color, a skin color for so many people, and I hope this book empowers and inspires readers of all ages and backgrounds into finding the beauty around them and within them.

Thank you, Supriya and Noor!

Supriya Kelkar is an author, illustrator, and screenwriter who grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Winner of the New Visions Award for her middle grade novel Ahimsa, Supriya has worked on the writing teams for several Hindi films, including Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Eklavya: The Royal Guard, India’s entry into the 2007 Academy Awards.

Noor Sofi is a Kashmiri-American Visual Development artist who works in Burbank, California at Taiko Animation Studios. She loves coming up with stories, wandering around art galleries, and hanging with her cat, Momo.

Look for Brown Is Beautiful on October 4, 2022. Pre-order here.

For fans of I Am Golden, an empowering picture book about a South Asian girl who recognizes the beauty of her own brown skin as she finds and collects beautiful brown things during a walk in the woods—by an award-winning South Asian author!

Brown is beautiful.

On a hike with her grandparents, a young Indian-American girl makes note of all the things in the wilderness that are brown, too. From a nurturing mother bear, to the steadiness of deep twisting roots, to the beauty of a wild mustang, brown is everywhere! On her way, the girl collects the beautiful brown things she encounters as mementos for a scrap book to share with a very special new addition to her family—a baby brother.

Brown is you.
Brown is me.

Here is an uplifting, tender exploration of beauty, joy, and self-love, with playful illustrations by rising star and South Asian illustrator Noor Sofi.


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