Lupita Nyong'o's bestselling children's book, Sulwe, recently got the audiobook treatment, and now, Netflix is turning it into an animated musical feature! The book, which follows a young girl named Sulwe as she learns to embrace her dark skin and unique beauty, is based on Lupita's own childhood experiences.
Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognise their innate beauty and value."
"The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart," Lupita said in a Netflix press release. "Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognise their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness."
Lupita added, on her Instagram account: "Sulwe is going to be an animated movie!! 💜✨🎬Thank you to the readers of all ages who have joined #Sulwe on her starry ride. I'm so excited for this next adventure on @Netflix!"
This isn't the first time Netflix has worked with Lupita and Sulwe — the actress and author read her book aloud in an episode of Netflix's original series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. Like the story of Sulwe, each episode of Bookmarks is intended to "spark kid-friendly conversations about empathy, equality, self-love and antiracism."
There's no time frame for Netflix's Sulwe just yet, so in the meantime, catch Lupita's episode of Bookmarks on Netflix or in the YouTube video below, grab a copy of Sulwe in book format, and preorder the audiobook version ahead of its Feb. 23 release.