Beautiful story and illustrations! A much needed translation for children to see themselves in books. I highly recommend it! I hope more beautiful stories like this one get translated because it is so important for children to see themselves in these stories but also for other children to empathize with children who may have different attributes.
The original title of Rizos is Frizzy, and I love that the meaning and the sense change because I think those of us who speak more than one language often end up constructing different versions of our identities. I'm not the same person in English and in Spanish, if that makes any sense. And, in a way, this was evident in this story because our main character, who's a Dominican girl living in the States, in a way is forced to hide aspects of herself by straightening her hair in order to fit in at school and society in general.
Now, I know this book wasn't written *for me:* I'm not a Dominican tween living in the States, I am not Black, and the discourse around my hair has been way different than what Marlene had to endure growing up. That being said, I think this is a very powerful and empowering story for young people who might identify with the main character and relate to what she goes through. I teared up at times, and at the end I smiled and felt hopeful. I think this is a must for tweens, regardless of their background.
Fantastic. I had read this book in English, but I was grateful to have the chance to read it in Spanish as well. An essential for supporting a message of self-love and growth. Highly recommend for libraries and classrooms in particular.
This heartwarming story follows Marlene as she learns to love and accept her natural curls with the help of her aunt Ruby. I loved this story and how it talked about such an important topic. Curly hair is something that people struggle with accepting since society deems it as looking unprofessional or unruly. Not only does it depict Marlene's self-acceptance, it does so with so much empathy and warmth. It shows Marlene learning to advocate for herself and express her feelings to her mother. Overall, this story was amazing and I am so glad I got to read it. I definitely recommend this book!
Rizos (Frizzy) by Claribel A. Ortega
Summary: A middle grade graphic novel about Marlene, a young girl who stops straightening her hair and embraces her natural curl: according to her mother, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and "growing up." That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have "presentable", "good hair". But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn't understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby—she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.
Feels: This novel is a hidden gem, and we NEED to make it seen. WOW. I don't think I've ever related to a main character more! Marlene struggles to learn to wear her natural curls, while showing us there's always friends in the way to make us "feel more us". I'm here for the latin vibes, la comunidad dominicana, las mamis, to learn to be our authentic selves! This novel is everything.
Originally publised as Frizzy in October 2022, it has since been awarded the Pura Belpré Award for Children's Text and the Eisner for Best Publication for Kids.
Rizos is the GN I would have loved to read when I was younger. It’s the type of book many would benefit from reading today. Doesn’t matter if it’s a middle grade book, I have friends who as adults have needed years to accept and want to learn how to have their natural hair. And I know there are many who feel intimidated by the thought of it, who want to learn but don’t know where to start.
I’ve had curly since around 11-12. Back then, there weren’t a lot of products for curlies like there are now. Most around me didn’t have their hair naturally curly. Like in the story, there was a pressure from society to have more “presentable” hair, which ment weekly trips to the hair salon to have it straightened. I never got any comments from my direct family like Marlene the MC does, but at many points in my life, I’ve heard most if not all the microaggressive comments in the book from others My mom didn’t know how to handle my curls, so I had a long process of learning myself. Now, it’s been a new process learning with my daughter. Because even though I know how to handle my curls, hers are different and we’ve had to work on learning how to style them properly.
Marlene’s aunt teaches her and after a heart to heart, she opens up to her mom about how she feels and how she wants to wear her hair naturally. So maybe this book can help be a starting point to many. Also the illustrations are truly remarkable.
Qué bella historia, la amé!
Yo no tengo el pelo rizado ni afro, pero incluso a mí me llegan al corazón ciertas cosas que pasan en esta pequeña historia. Siempre estamos buscando ser más normales, más hegemónicas, esa es solo la forma en la que se expresa nuestro racismo interiorizado (con un toque de misoginia). Recuerdo que cuando era niña quería ser rubia y verme como las actrices de las películas gringas. Me encantaba que alabaran mi pelo liso, porque me enseñaron que ese era el pelo bonito, hasta que nació mi prima que tenía el pelo más liso que el mío y mis tías no dudaron en compararnos, y yo me sentía muy mal, porque siempre pensé que mi pelo era lo único bonito en mí, y que alguien más me lo había quitado. Parece una historia tonta, pero creo que todas las niñas no hegemónicas hemos pasado por algo así (unas más que otras). Así que me encanta que ahora sea tan fácil hablar de estos temas con mayor naturalidad, estoy segura que muchas niñas se van a sentir identificadas. Si pudiera volver a mi infancia, le regalaría este libro a mi vecina negra, que era un poco menor que yo. Sé que habría dejado una gran impresión en ella.
Por cierto, las ilustraciones están preciosas y los colores son cálidos y reconfortantes.
I have never in my 19 years of life read a book in one sitting, but this one was the exception.
The story of Marlene was so true and so cute, i finished it in less than an hour. I dont have frizzy her like hers, but i understan evrything that happens to her.
The feeling of disapointing evryone is the worst, and its even worst when the person you dont want to dissapoint is your own family, especially your mother. Im latina, just like her, so I can say thaat the comparisons family makes between you and your cousins is always there.
I have no doubt that black people have millons of problems with their hair: how to style it, what products to use, what haircuts, if wearing wigs is necesary, if they look cute, if its normal, etc. I cant even start to imagine the daily problems someone with curly hair has to deal with all the time.
I loved that this was not only a graphic novel about hair, i loved that it talked about everything, and i mean everything. You had bullying, you had family issues, you had grief, you had supportives best friends, you had comunication between parents and her kids, you had it ALL.
My fav part? As someone who lost her aunt two years before she waas born, i would have loved to have weekend away with her, just like Marlene and her tia Ruby have. Because my aunt was a tia chevere, just like Ruby.
Overall, an amazing book, thank you so much Net Galley for allowing me to read this masterpiece before it officially came out !! <3<3<3<3<3 (5/5)
One of the sweetest and most heartwarming stories I've read in a while! Marlene's journey to self love and self discovery was so beautiful and so relatable in so many ways. It showed how much we can internalize a lot of beliefs that are not our own, especially when it comes to certain types of hair. I loved watching Marlene receive much needed support and that she was listened to. And that she learned how to be gentle with herself.
When I noticed that the graphic novel "Frizzy" which I was dying to read, got a Spanish translation I was ECSTATIC!
Rizos: 5/5 infinite stars!
"Marlene tu pelo, tu pelo natural es parte de ti y es bello. Tu pelo cuenta la historia de nuestro isla."
"Pelo bueno-pelo malo".
Rizos is about an amazing Dominican girl named Marlene who has been forced to go to the hair salon every Sunday to get her hair straightened. Her mother, family, classmates, and strangers have always commented on her hair for being "bad hair" and criticized her when it was not straight. The graphic novel with some of the most beautiful art I've ever seen illustrates the anti-black pro-white beauty standards of many cultures, specifically Latine ones. This novel focuses on the real experience of many Latina women of having family and strangers commenting on their bodies as if it is their right to do so. Marlene grew up, like her mother, and her mother's mother thinking that straight hair is good, and their natural hair is wrong. Marlene is tasked with the difficult duty of breaking generational trauma for herself and her mother.
Rizos was unlike any other graphic novel I have ever read, the Dominican culture was present in the language, behaviors, and food. The language was one of the reasons I wanted to read it in Spanish, not because it wouldn't have been as beautiful or as real but because language is culture and as a Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican it brought me to my culture a lot! The novel was vibrant and emotional; the message gripped my heart and had me sobbing. Throughout the story Marlene seeks to love her hair, to understand it, and to just be herself. The dynamics between her, her mother, her friend Cam, and her super cool tia were so heartwarming and beautiful. This novel is about healing, growing up, and choosing to be yourself. Marlene goes through a very complex process of self-understanding and love with her hair and herself. The story focuses on unlearning previous notions of beauty and antiblackness, recognizing that all hair is beautiful and that it is a part of who they are and their culture.
This graphic novel is not just about hair, it is about culture, self-love, history, and family. In Latine families we don't make it a habit to listen or to share our emotions, this book is a beautiful example that we should share our feelings with those we love. I highly recommend this book, especially to younger readers who might be dealing with bullying or doubts about their curls.
Marlene es una joven dominicana. La mamá de Marlene la obliga a ir al salón todos los domingos para alisarse el cabello rizado. Marlene odia ir al salón pero tiene miedo de decírselo a su mamá. Intenta ver un video tutorial de YouTube para cabello rizado, pero no funciona como lo planeó y en la escuela se burlan de ella por su cabello rizado. Por suerte, Tía Ruby sabe mucho sobre cabello rizado y le enseña a Marlene. Luego, todos en la escuela elogian su cabello.
Me encantó esta historia y me identifiqué mucho con el hecho de que yo misma tuviera el pelo rizado. Me tomó mucho tiempo aprender a peinarme correctamente para que no quede rizado. Me encantó la obra de arte y el diálogo en esta historia. Es perfecto para adolescentes que luchan con el cabello rizado. ¡Se lo recomiendo a todos los leedores de grado medio! Le doy 5/5 estrellas.
Rizos is a wonderful mid-level graphic novel fond r those reading and learning Spanish. It shares the story of Marlene, whose hair has always proved to be a problem for her. Her mother takes her to the salon every week to make sure her hair is straightened and under control, but Marlene doesn't feel true to herself, the salon and all of the styling hurts! When Marlene is able to hang out with her Tia, who has similar hair, she's finally able to feel beautiful in her own skin (and hair) and learn how to take care of her beautiful locks. Amazing for students of all languages, this book shows kids how to feel beautiful and love who they are.
Marlene es una niña con un cabello rizado precioso que, al escuchar los comentarios hirientes de familiares, compañeros y hasta de su propia madre es obligada a ir al salón todos los domingos para alaciar su cabello, cuestionándose qué hay de malo en él y por qué debe de cambiarlo para agradarle a los demás.
También se habla sobre la pérdida y la adolescencia; especificamente sobre el camino de grava que una recorre para llegar al encuentro del amor propio y encontrar respuestas ante esas preguntas tan confusas sobre su identidad y la apariencia.
Amé enormemente a la tía Ruby y sus consejos tan sabios y acertados. Son de esos consejos que escuchas y automáticamente te abrigan el corazón por la calidez del amor que residen en ellos. El mensaje es claro y muy bello, recomiendo enormemente que las niñas con cabello rizadado lean esta novela gráfica, siento que les será de gran ayuda. Tanto la escritora como la ilustradora hicieron un gran trabajo, me lo leí en cuestión de minutos.
i loved this so so much. my hair used to be super curly and i hated it as a child, so i loved seeing a whole graphic novel about dealing with curly hair and annoying people. frizzy follows marlene, a girl with curly hair who has to go the hair salon and get it straightened every week as per her mother’s wishes. as we follow her through the graphic novel, she learns that her natural curls are just as beautiful and that it doesn’t matter what others think about her hair. the messages given are so important and done really well. the art style and illustrations are so beautiful. i loved marlene and cam and aunt ruby and coco so much. spanish is my third language and i found this quite easy to read, despite not reading in spanish very often! there isn’t a single negative thing i’d be able to say about this amazing graphic novel!
spanish review to come later.
thank you to the publisher first second and netgalley for a free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Soy principiante en el idioma español. Esta novela gráfica es el primer libro que leo en español. Me gusta mucho. La historia es mucha inspírate para la niñas con pelo rizado. Me encanta el arte vibrante y hermoso. La lectura fue fácil incluso para un principiante. Recomiendo este libro a todas las niñas.
Como una persona de cabello rizado, sé lo que es cuando tus propios familiares dicen cosas horribles sobre tu cabello y que se ve mejor alisado.
Lo mejor es cuando te liberas de las cadenas de esta familia y asumes la verdadera naturaleza de tu cabello, te sientes libre...
Este libro es para cada niña que creció pensando que necesitaba alisarse el cabello para estar más bonita, su cabello es perfecto tal como es.
quisiera agradecer al editor y a Netgalley por el ARC
Very cute well written story. It starts off with Marlene who has to go to her Cousin Diana's birthday party which she is reluctant to go to because Diana is not always so nice, and everyone brags about Diana's blonde hair and blue eyes while comparing Marlene's unruly curls to Diana's straight hair. Many criticize Marlene and tell her she should be more like her cousin. Next, we follow Diana to school well she is being bullied by classmates because of her hair. Lastly, we follow Marlene to her aunt Ruby, where she learns how to tame her mane and some life lessons. I really loved the topic and how well the story was told and the beautiful graphics. I also like that there was highlighted vocabulary and that the story was broken down into sections. This is a great book for young readers and middle schoolers.
Oh, my. I thought I was getting into a cute graphic novel and ended up with waterfalls for eyes.
Frizzy tells us Marlene's story: a Dominican girl who wants to look at herself in the mirror and feel happy and curly.
Supported by a soft narrative and a beautiful illustration work by Rose Bousamra, we readers discover the hair of Marlene, her wishes, and her disenchantment with the "good hair" image that everyone thinks it's perfect. Everyone thinks so, but her. We meet her mum, auntie and best friend between pink shades. And what a first glance seems like a simple self-acceptance story transforms into a deeper love story.
Because here, the most tangled issue isn't Marlene's curls.
There is a subtle and beautiful narrative structure that goes over the beauty standard, the anti-blackness of that ideal. There is a glance to grief, loyalty to what family means, and growing up. Claribel writes in a simple way avoiding treating the reader as a fool. Marlene's fear of "hugging" her curls because she doesn't want to disappoint her mother shows this dynamic. A mother that, by the way, has her own frizzy, beautiful story: a woman that reflects in her daughter the ideals transmitted to her younger self. A call for community over a little girl's curly story and the mirrors of her mother and brave aunt.
I love how taking care of one's hair becomes a symbol of accepting the thing that makes us unique, and that shows our story and the grief cycle that comes with it. Because the truth is that loving ourselves means mourning over the beauty ideals taught to us. As an adult female reader, it's beautiful to see this grief reflected in the two adults. It's even hopeful to know that for Marlene, this stage is short because she fought to be able to love that symbol of her roots.
I could write about how Rose uses panels to keep us close to Marlene's internal dialogue. I certainly could do, as a white reader, a fair criticism of myself and the nuances I'm missing because of my privilege. The humour, the small negative detail of making another girl the "villain": I could go over all those points. What would be the problem with that? It would taint a simple, direct message, beautiful just as it is.
I cannot wait for September to arrive and see Rizos/Frizzy in the Hispanic book community. As a teacher, I feel this is the kind of book our children need in the classrooms, a dialogue prompt. I had my eyes full of tears—I cannot imagine the impact it could have on its intended audience.
Or maybe I can imagine it, and that's why I'm so excited!
Rizos es la historia de Marlene y su familia, que estan obsesionados con el pelo y con evitar que Marlene vaya por la vida con sus rizos naturales. Es una historia de una niña que aprende a quererse y aceptarse tal y como es, y que lucha contra los prejuicios de la gente que la rodea. Creo que es una historia que lanza un mensaje muy importante y que Marlene tiene un pelo chulisimo.
La autora destaca temas relevantes como la importancia de tener figuras positivas en nuestra vida (en su caso, su tía) y como la gente puede hacernos daño con sus comentarios y sus acciones sin pretenderlo (como la madre de Marlene).
Además, las ilustraciones son preciosas 💘
Muy linda la novela, solo me estresaba la mamá jajaja pero ese era el punto. Es conmovedora y empatizar muy rápido con el personaje principal. Además, se nota el fondo latino, lo cual hace que una se sienta identificada a mayor escala.
Rizos te lleva a vivir el doloroso día a día de una adolescente afrodescendiente con cabello rizado y todo lo que ello conlleva. Bajo la influencia de una familia que detesta el "desorden" del cabello rizado, Marianne es sometida todos los domingos al terrible día de peluquería del que sale sientiéndose todo menos ella misma. Acompañado de unas ilustraciones magníficas iremos por el recorrido de esta joven a lo largo del racismo, negación de las raices, bullying, amor familiar, aceptación y alzar la voz.