Sulwe: The Ultimate Story of How True Beauty Lies Within

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Inspiration

Sulwe is an inspiring story that helps readers discover and embrace their unique beauty. Created by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o with stunning illustrations by Vashti Harrison, this children’s book contains a message powerful enough to resonate with people of all ages.

Sulwe Book Back Cover

Back cover of Sulwe with image of Lupita Nyong’o. (Photo: The Creative Armory)

Throughout the story the main character, Sulwe, often wishes that she could change her dark-skinned complexion to match the lightness of her sister and other members of her family. After being teased for the color of her skin by kids at school, she tries multiple times to change her appearance and even prays for God to bless her with a lighter complexion so she can be at peace. After going on a magical journey one night, Sulwe is introduced to the bright side of having her dark skin.

Since its debut in October 2019, the book has become a New York Times bestseller and received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work. Just recently, it was announced that it will be adapted by Netflix into an animated musical.

Sulwe is a powerful lesson on self-esteem and a must-have for any collection. I love that although this is a children’s book, it is a humble reminder to seek the beauty within instead of basing your worth solely on your physical appearance.

Check out the video below to see Lupita Nyong’o read Sulwe on Netflix Jr.

What do you love most about this book? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

By Jess McKenzie

By Jess McKenzie

Jess McKenzie is a graphic designer from Detroit, MI with a passion for branding. She is a self-proclaimed nerd that loves 80s movies and longs for Saturday morning cartoons to return. When she is not tied to her computer, she can be found taking random road trips and practicing landscape photography.


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