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 art-and-craft-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.
Make art. Perform a play for the nanas when they’re in town. Eat a yummy homemade dessert. Ooh! and aah! about how each member of the family has a different skin color.
Using direct, simple language, Jyoti takes on everyday colorism, childhood bullying, and media bias. The author’s approach to the topics is based on careful deliberation, 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. Lead the dialogue with your children on this important topic!
“…starting point for essential conversations and long-term exploration of skin color…for parents, children, educators…just about everyone.”
APRIL KIM TONIN
The Maude and Rodney Starkey Deputy Director
Education, The Museum of Arts and Design, New York
“Everything in nature has its own color.”
Workshop Attendee, 2nd grader
“They didn’t know the term melanin… Jyoti explains it in the right context and language.”
Workshop Attendee, Elementary school teacher
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 is also the founder of The Colo(u)rism Project, a media-literacy initiative aimed at engaging youth critically. Her independent work on the subject of colorism, which spans more than a decade, has garnered engagement from parents, educators, cultural producers, and community organizations in Houston, New York, and New Delhi. Jyoti’s work has been featured in Bitch Media, Brooklyn Free Radio, The Washington Post, as well as at Tedx Women and the Jaipur Literary Festival. Different Differenter is her first book.
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 at the City University of New York. She lives in Manhattan with her spouse; her 7-year-old son, Abir. More about Jyoti ›