Lupita Nyong’o wants to add a more direct approach to her work.
The award-winning actress reveals that she will be narrating an audiobook of her award-winning 2019 children’s book ‘Sulwe.’
According to People ‘Sulwe’ “follows 5-year-old Sulwe, who has the darkest skin color in her family and wants to be beautiful like her mother and sister. Only after a magical trip through the night sky does the young girl — whose name means “star” — learn how special and lovely she is.”
“Listening to a book read aloud is such a personal, intimate way to experience the characters and story,” Nyong’o tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to narrate the audiobook for Sulwe myself in order to bring to life the characters as I had imagined them in my head when writing the book.”
Nyong’o reveals that the character Mama is inspired by her own mother, who still uses “warmth, calm and compassion” to guide her.
Sulwe has received a numerous amount of recognition such as a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work.
The main purpose of Nyong’o’s publication is to inspire self-love in children of various skin tones. Nyong’o herself struggled with her own experiences of colorism.
“Although colorism is a heavy topic,” she says in a 2019 PEOPLE interview. “it was important to me that Sulwe’s story have warmth, whimsy and exist in a land of dreams.”
The audiobook edition of Sulwe is set for a February 23 release, via Listening Library.