Different Differenter is an activity book that introduces skin color to children in a healthy way. When young children begin to observe differences in skin color, their questions on the subject demand simple yet accurate responses. Jyoti’s arts-based book takes you on a playful and creative discovery to find answers that work for you and your family—while thoughtfully introducing facts of history and 15-plus new words.

Different Differenter uses an abolitionist framework to talk about everyday colorism, childhood bullying, and media bias. Jyoti’s approach to the topics is based on lived experiences, readings of scholarly works, and a decade’s worth of nuanced, gritty conversations with individuals of various races, ages, genders, professions, and educational backgrounds.

Illustrated by Tarannum Pasricha, Different Differenter reflects the world of the child, in all its diverse exuberance. The book’s creators have worked hard to center on cultures and children of color. Her message is simple: Nourish your child to the dialogue on this important topic!

“…starting point for essential conversations and long-term exploration of skin color…for parents, children, educators…just about everyone.”

Art educator and The Maude and Rodney Starkey Deputy Director
Education, The Museum of Arts and Design, New York

“I don’t like fiction books [about skin color] because they don’t have any examples!”

– 7-year-old

“Children learn the term melanin in the book ! So fundamental to a child’s self-awareness, yet so overlooked in our culture!”

– Elementary school teacher

Available online, at indie bookstores, and art ed spaces including The National Gallery, London.

“Gupta advocates having a comfort about these discussions and letting kids express their opinions with an open mind without being didactic.”

– The Washington Post

About Jyoti

Jyoti Gupta analyzes and makes media for social good. Her work focuses on dismantling colorism, which she defines as a system that creates opportunities for people with light skin, regardless of their true strengths. Jyoti’s work has been featured in Bitch Media, Brooklyn Free Radio, Romper, and The Washington Post, as well as at TEDxWomen and the Jaipur Literary Festival. She is the author of ‘Different Differenter,’ an arts-based racial literacy toolkit about skin color for 5- to 9-year-olds.
Jyoti is the founder of The Colo(u)rism Project, a media-literacy initiative aimed at engaging youth critically. Her independent work since 2007 has garnered engagement from scholars, activists, educators, cultural producers, parents, and community organizations. DIfferent Differenter is available in several bookstores, libraries, and museum stores including at The National Gallery, London’s Getty bookstore.
Jyoti holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School University, New York, and a BFA in Visual Communication from the College of Art, New Delhi. She is pursuing her second master’s degree at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She lives in Manhattan with her spouse and 7-year-old son.