Welcome to my latest blog piece which is all about hair. There has been an increase in publications of picture books embracing your natural hair and it’s wonderful to see that such publications have been embracing many hair types.
My Hair by Hannah Lee and illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.
My Hair is a charming diverse read celebrating Afro hair. The story features a young girl who’s not quite sure what hair style to have for her party. It can all be quite confusing when there are so many possibilities so she has to think really carefully about it but thankfully her mamma is on hand to help her.
The book shares many a hairstyle that can be done in Afro hair, for men and women but what’s wonderful is that children who do have Afro hair will see themselves in this book. The book showcases and positively shares that having Afro hair is great and after reading the book there are so many new hairstyles to discover. For many years such hair has been treated so that it conforms to what is deemed as socially acceptable, poker straight, but this book shines a light on being unique and embracing your natural beauty. It’s an absolutely brilliant book and a must have for all libraries.
Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam Al Serkal and illustrated by Rebeca Luciani.
Self love can be so hard. Many of us have personal battles, where we question or perhaps wish for something we haven’t got and sadly this can start from such a young age. Little eyes are always watching. Our precious poppets seeing how we and others speak. How people do things, observing what others are wearing and how we present ourselves.
In this book Mira is a young girl who longs for something she hasn’t got. She wants to have straight hair just like her mother. She attempts everything to make her tight curly locks smooth and straight but nothing seems to work. She adores her mother’s hair and wants her hair to be just like hers. But, a walk in the rain changes everything. Little does she know she has more in common with her mother then first realised.
This super diverse read is a simply told read but very thought provoking. What beauty standards are we setting for young eyes? Complete with wonderful illustrations I am pleased to have introduced Mira to my girls. To see a full review of this book complete with a guest piece from the illustrator visit a previous piece I completed Book review: Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam al Serkal and illustrated by Rebeca Luciani.
I Don’t Want Curly Hair by Laura Ellen Anderson
This upbeat rhythmic read complete with wonderfully bright and expressive illustrations is a super read aloud. An unnamed young girl isn’t too pleased about her curly hair. She does everything she can to turn what she thinks are unruly locks to something more manageable. Her idea of straight hair which flows while she walks is her dream but instead she has the hair that she does.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that something you want so badly can be something that somebody wants to change about themselves. The young girl discovers just that. While pondering as to what she should do she meets a young girl but she has straight hair that she really wants to change to curly hair. It’s interesting for the girls to have met and they realise that instead of wanting hair that they can’t have, they should embrace it instead. They swap hair ideas and tips, complete creative hairstyles and most of all have fun. Their meeting has worked wonders in making them realise that loving what you have is key.
I adore the illustrations in the book and appreciate that the new friendship formed is a positive one where they are open about how they feel about their hair.
The Mega Magic Hair Swap by Rochelle Humes and illustrated by Rachel Suzanne.
The Mega Magic Hair Swap is filled with diverse joyful illustrations that really bring the story to life. Rachel Suzanne has done a brilliant job at illustrating two loveable characters who are the best of friends and who envy each others hair.
Mai has dark curly hair and Rose has blonde straight hair. Mai expresses in the story how curly hair can be unruly but throughout the story there is always a positive echo, whether that be mummy or the magical coconut giving positive affirmations about being beautiful regardless of how your hair is.
Mai and Rose complete a mega magic hair swap but eventually the girls realise that as fun as it was to swap hair, it isn’t them. When they see themselves in the mirror, with each others hair, they are not happy with how different they look.
This book is sure to be a read that relates to many. Rochelle Humes has based a story on a subject that forms the basis of insecurities for many…hair. It is a book that celebrates differences and a book that embraces diversity.
I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and illustrated by E.B.Lewis.
This brilliant book available in board book format is based on conversations between a mother and her daughter. Each night before bedtime a mother has a tradition with her daughter to comb her hair. As gently as the mother is, it can cause the young girl discomfort and as the story unfolds it seems that the girl questions why she has the type of hair that she does.
The mother gently explains and wisely answers that it is brilliant to have Afro hair for a range of reasons including being so versatile to many a different hair style.
The book I’m sure will be one that resonates with many readers and perhaps bring back memories for older readers of their parents or carer doing their hair. The loving relationship between the mother and child is a delight to observe and the realistic illustrations share such tender moments.
Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller
Personal space is an interesting topic and this book highlights the topic so well. Whilst at school, around the age of 6 a new girl started at my school. She had Afro hair and was the first in our class to have this type of hair. We both become good friends and our friendship has continued as we have got older. We had an interesting conversation about people touching hair and it was something that my friend had to put up with a lot as she was growing up. I had witnessed it myself when people would see her hair as an open invitation to being touched but actually her hair wasn’t there to be touched by others.
In Don’t Touch My Hair Sharee Miller embraces beautiful hair but gives a clear message though the character Aria that should you want to touch someones hair you should always ask permission first.
Aria has many people touching her hair, as she walks down the street in the sea and in the jungle! The imaginative story shares an important message and will be one that encourages important discussion about personal boundaries. It is also a book that celebrates being a girl of colour with amazing hair and does so in a fun, engaging way. A super read to have in a learning setting.
These books collectively, I believe, to be great reads embracing the topic of hair. I’m sure you would have noticed that these books all feature females as the main character and should I come across with a great book relating to this topic featuring a male main character I shall be sure to share.
Disclaimer: Some of these books were sent from the publishers and some were borrowed from my local library. I chose for these books to be included in this piece. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.