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Lupita Nyong'o reading 'Sulwe'. Frame from Bookmarks, Netflix Jr.
Lupita Nyong'o reading 'Sulwe'. Frame from Bookmarks, Netflix Jr.

Sulwe: Lupita Nyong'o's children's book to be an animated musical on Netflix

This week Netflix confirmed that Lupita Nyong'o's first children's book will become an animated musical.

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Famous actress Lupita Nyong'o published her first illustrated children's book in October 2019 with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and it became a New York Times bestseller.

Sulwe is a children's book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

It tells the story of a Kenyan girl who has darker skin than anyone else, "Sulwe was born the color of midnight," recites the beginning of the story, and who only wants to be beautiful and bright. One night a shooting star visits her and takes her on a magical journey where she learns the story of the sisters Night and Day.

"Sulwe's story is one that is very close to my heart. Growing up, I was uncomfortable with my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in books or magazines or even on television. It was a long journey for me to self-love," Nyong'o said in a press statement.

Sulwe hopes that dark-skinned children will see themselves reflected, and in general, all those who feel different can recognize their beauty and value. It is also a guide for those who don't know what colorism is and approach the subject with empathy.

Last Thursday, Netflix announced that it would turn Sulwe into an animated musical, an attempt by the company to strengthen its catalog of animated feature films and provide its children's audience with content from diversity and cultural representation.

"I am thrilled that the book will be adapted into an animated musical that will hopefully inspire children around the world to celebrate their uniqueness," said Lupita.

The project joins a slate of Netflix animated films that includes last year's Oscar-nominated Klaus and Glen Keane's Over the Moon, which premiered in October.

In a crusade for children's representation in media, Nyong'o featured Sulwe on Bookmarks, a Netflix show that features black celebrities and artists reading children's books by black authors that highlight the black experience.

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