by Dinah Johnson, Kelly Johnson, Kelly Johnson (Photographer)
Age Range: 5 to 9 Years
Hair comes in all colors, textures, and styles. Whether it is worn long or short, in braids or cornrows, or left natural in an Afro, hair plays a big part in who we are and how we feel about ourselves.
In this inspiring book, Kelly Johnsonís stunning photographs of girls wearing a range of hairstyles and the lyrical words of Dinah Johnsonís poem celebrate African American hair in all its radiant variety.
School Library Journal:
K-Gr 5 This vibrant offering pairs colorful photographs of African-American girls with upbeat verses. The youngsters are shown alone and together, and their moods and expressions vary from shy and pensive to bold and exuberant. They wear their hair loose and natural, and in barrettes, beads, Afro puffs, or braids that "fly high into the sky." One to three photographs appear on each spread, surrounded by linen-textured blocks of color that connect the fabric of this tapestry of young beauty, strength, and promise. Most of the verses are short and rhythmic and read aloud like a jump-rope rhyme. For example, a series of three photographs follows a girl whose love of dancing can't be concealed as her body moves to an unknown rhythm. Her hair is described, "It's sassy short/and bouncy long/barrettes on my braids/keep the beat of the song." Another page, featuring a photo of three friends, makes readers welcome: "come on, you'll fit right in/with our rainbow tribe/of heritage/our sisterhood of hearts." A lighthearted font matches the text's effervescent tone. A child can hold this volume and think, "That's me!" and then-"Beautiful!" This title can encourage discussions about self-image, feelings, and cultural identity. Pair it with Natasha Anastasia Tarpley's I Love My Hair! (Little, Brown, 1998) and Sylviane A. Diouf's Bintou's Braids (Chronicle, 2001).-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
DINAH JOHNSON has written several books for young readers. A professor of English literature at the University of South Carolina, Dinah lives with her daughter, Niani, in Columbia, South Carolina.
Hardcover: 32 pages