Cover Image: Hair Story

Hair Story

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Member Reviews

I loved how this book was written in verse. It was honestly so beautiful, seeing the two girls proud of their culture and heritage through their hair. I absolutely loved the illustrations as well, but this book's one true strength is the writing and how it captures this beautiful moment.
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It’s refreshing to read a book that so joyfully celebrates difference while naturally expressing friendship. I love the historical and pop culture context with the back matter. I love the illustrations, and the prose is exquisite. A true own-voices work of art that will be loved by my children and many others. Thanks for this.
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Why I liked the Prose:

The prose is exuberant and hits beautiful emotional beats. The rhyme is not tied to traditional rhyming structure and is fresh and flows with feeling.

Why I like the Illustrations

They are vibrant and joyful and help make the bigger vocabulary words accessible. 

Why I like the Back Matter:

The books invites children to be proud of their community and proud of their ancestral roots.

Note: Diversity includes code-switching and "slang." I appreciate the integration of slang like "4 eva" and vocabulary like "algorhithm." Our BIPOC students are often multilingual and code switchers.
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First off, I loved the illustrations in this book! They were so vibrant and beautiful! I wasn't as crazy about the writing. It just didn't really work for me. It almost seemed like it was trying to be lyrical, but it seemed more clunky than anything to me. However, I do love that this book gives representation in children's book where there hasn't always been. I feel like many young girls would relate to the pictures, and perhaps, even the prose?
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Such a cute cover but the content didn’t work as I had expected.

What clicked with me:
The book follows two little girls – one Puerto Rican, one Black – as they play hair solon and discover the history behind their hair. The cultural representation is fabulous.
The book seeks to normalise hair regardless of its texture. So the idea is great. 
There are many references to cultural icons with atypical hair or hairstyles. The end of the book provides details on this famous figures. I also liked the personal “hair stories” of the author and the illustrator at the end of the book. 
The illustrations are outstanding. If I had to rate the illustrations on their own, the book would have received 5 complete stars from me. 

What didn’t click with me:
The book is aimed at children aged 5-9 but there are many difficult words in the text (decipher, algorithm, curtsy,..) 
The language used is a mix of English and Spanish (I guess, not sure.)  Though there is a glossary provided at the end, there are too many non-English words for the kids to keep referencing the glossary. It breaks the flow of reading.
I don’t appreciate children’s books using slag language. That “4eva” was a huge n-no for me.
The entire book is written in rhyming verse but the rhymes are quite contemporary in style and not on the traditional rhythmic structures. I’m not sure how far children will get the poetic nuances of the words.

Since I have exactly 4 points in each column, I’m going to go exactly halfway in my rating. It’s a 2.5 for me. 

Thank you, NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group, for the Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is absolutely stunning. The illustrations and colors are vibrant and inviting. The rhyming text is wonderful. I can't wait for this book to be published!
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I loved this book! We need more kids books like this to help normalize textured hair. I loved the illustrations and the rhyming. I also loved that they showed historical figures with their hair!
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