Lupita Nyong'o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Book cover image

Narrated By: Lupita Nyong'o

Duration: 13 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Puffin.

The New York Times Number 1 Bestseller

From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o comes a powerful and moving book about colourism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe's skin is the colour of midnight. She's darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school.

All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister.

Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, Lupita Nyong'o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

© Lupita Nyong'o 2019 (P) Penguin Audio 2021


Picture storybooks, Children's / Teenage personal and social topics: Self-awareness and self-esteem, Children's / Teenage fiction: Fantasy

Listen to a sample

A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way

Kirkus Starred Review

By turns beguiling (as when Sulwe's mother counsels her tearful daughter) and magical (a shooting star darts into Sulwe's room to share the story of Night and Day), the volume also clearly conveys that colorism is real, and it hurts. Sulwe's story confronts it head-on, with words and images that celebrate the 'dark and beautiful, bright and strong.'

Publishers Weekly, starred review

A welcome celebration of Black girls, an important lesson for all kids (and grownups), and a necessary message for any child who has been made to feel unworthy of love on account of their looks


Darkest in her family, Sulwe believes that her skin makes her unattractive and prays to be lighter, but when a shooting star tells her the story of sisters Night and Day, she finally understands that she doesn't need to change. Harrison's star-flecked glimmering illustrations evoke Night's mysterious beauty.