It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
I’ve had my eye on these two picturebooks for awhile now – and while it does not technically fit into our fantasy theme, the way that hair is celebrated fantastically here deserves sharing.
Happy Hair [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written and Illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe
Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 1984895540 (ISBN13: 9781984895547). Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
This picturebook, dedicated to “every girl who has ever doubted her beauty, her strength, and her courageous spirit” is like a catalogue of different styles of hair styles for dark-skinned beauties.
Among my favourites are the following:
This one is pretty much my teenage daughter’s preferred style – not that she wears headbands, because she doesn’t – but the entire “Wash-N-Go” philosophy: no fuss, no frills, or more likely than not, no patience to really style her hair.
Another favourite is this one:
I am in awe with young women who are able to sinuously wrap their hair with colourful scarves in such an aesthetically pleasing manner. I wish I could do something similar. And lastly:
This glorious buzz of hair is gorgeous. If there was one peeve that I have about the book, it is quite similar to my observation of Vashti Harrison’s Little Dreamers series (see my reviews here and here) – as I would rather that the girls are wide-eyed and boldly facing the reader with pride, rather than have their eyes lowered in what may be construed as modesty, or submission or meekness. Regardless, it is an empowering picturebook that young ones would most likely enjoy.
For more hair care, I suggest the readers also check out this picturebook – click on the image to be taken to my review of the book.
Hair Love [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Matthew A. Cherry Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Published by Kokila (2019)
ISBN: 0525553363 (ISBN13: 9780525553366). Literary Award: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Books (2019). Borrowed through Singapore NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
I have featured quite a number of daddy stories previously (see here) but they are mostly father and son, rather than father and daughter with hair love thrown into the picture.
Zuri is eager to begin her day, and she wants to look her absolute best. But for that she needs daddy’s help – to tame, comb, and style her hair.
It appears, though, that our afro-haired and tattooed buff Daddy has little practice when it comes to fixing little girls’ hair as you can see below:
When I first read the story, I had a different reading of why this is such an important day for Zuri. I didn’t realize that there was also another layer to this narrative that will only be made clearer by watching the Oscar-nominated short film that I am also including here. Needless to say, the story caught me sideways. Zuri is now one of my favourite girls in picturebooks. Enjoy the short video clip!
And here is more from author Matthew A. Cherry, former NFL player, and why he wrote this story – and Vashti Harrison’s take on the story. Beautiful.
#ReadIntl2020 Update: Both books are written and illustrated by people of colour.