Kiddie Corner~I Love My Hair

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 0-316-52375-5
32 pages
*1999 Blackboard Children's Book of the Year
*A Black Caucus American Library Association Top Recommended Book

My mom has always exhibited a creative streak. She would create wonderful photo albums covered in bright and colorful fabrics and could turn a Renuzit air freshener into all kinds of cute little dolls to decorate your home. From designing greeting cards to helping me build the best class project, my mom was the best. But what I loved the most was the way she would corn row my hair into the most unique designs. One time she even braided my initials into my hair! And if I was really lucky, she would put long strands of beads on and NOBODY could tell me anything. I'd fling my hair loud and proud, click clacking all day long.

I Love My Hair is book that was very touching to me because it speaks to young African American girls about the beauty of their natural hair. As the mother begins to style the her daughter's hair, the child winces from the tugging of the comb but the mom soothes her daughter by telling her about the wonderful things she can do with her hair. The illustrations are amazing as it shows the daughter's hair being spun like yarn into a puffy bun and parted into rows like seeds in a garden. The daughter's even shown with a string of beads in her hair, skipping down the block and looking happy as can be! One of the cutest illustrations is of the little's girls ponytails transformed into wings whisking her away into the air. What's also touched on in this book is the teasing that sometimes occurs when African American girls wear their hair in a natural style. In the story the little girl's teacher provides positive reassurance about her hair and informs her how some hair styles were a symbol of strength and pride.

I tell you, this book really hits home. My daddy picked my hair out into a big wide Afro just like his and then wanted to walk me to the store and I remember feeling that same feeling, like I didn't want to wear my hair like that. But, he talked to me and I remember feeling so good, especially after we took pictures in one of those little booths with the side curtain...he and I with our 'fros.

The story flows nicely; its a great book for reading aloud. The illustrator captures expressions wonderfully and fancifully intertwines the child's hair with various things. I read this story to my youngest daughter on a Sunday night as I was about to style her hair. She and I both enjoyed this book immensely.

1 comment

Ryan Visser said...

You should check out Adventurebox books. They are great for Kids aged 6-9 and have award winning writer Michael Morpurgo as a guest author in the upcoming March issue! Video Interview here.

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