Only a Trenza Away

A Tale of Trust and Strength

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Pub Date Aug 08 2023 | Archive Date Aug 22 2023

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A father’s love for his daughter is joyfully expressed during their nightly routine when he braids her hair and shares imaginative bedtime stories.

Every night Xia’s father delicately braids her hair before bed. As he gently tugs and twists and tightens her hair, they embark on imaginative and fun adventures as he makes up stories about Xia and her trenzas, or braids. In one story, her trenza becomes a sturdy twisted vine that she uses to bravely swing through the jungle. In another, her trenzas are jump ropes as she catches the beat to play Double Dutch with the best players in the neighborhood.

One night, after story time, Xia worries what she would do if Papa is not there to help her in a real adventure. Papa shares with her the most important story of all:

Papa says, “There will be adventures, like going to your new school, when you’ll need to be brave, patient, focused, and curious. And while you might be on your own, you’ll never be alone, mi’ja.

Papa finished brushing her hair and carefully parted it into three sections.

“This section will remind you of the people who love you deeply.”

“This one is for the many people who need your love for them.”

“And this one . . . this will help you remember to love yourself exactly as you are now and who you hope to be. They are stronger woven together and will help protect your hair and your heart."
A father’s love for his daughter is joyfully expressed during their nightly routine when he braids her hair and shares imaginative bedtime stories.

Every night Xia’s father delicately braids her hair...

Advance Praise

"Every night, Xiomara's father braids her hair before bed. They imagine themselves on fantastic adventures: swinging through jungles; diving in underwater caves; flying to the moon. When Xiomara's father has to work late, she worries she will not be able to handle adventures-like starting a new school that year-without him. But in this cozy, comforting tale, her father assures her that the strength and love woven into her braids will always be there-even when he isn't."

Foreword Reviews, starred review

"Every night, Xiomara's father braids her hair before bed. They imagine themselves on fantastic adventures: swinging through jungles; diving in underwater caves; flying to the moon. When Xiomara's...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781639930982
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 44 members

Featured Reviews

Super cute story of a girl and her dad and their nightly ritual of braiding her hair, talking about life and going on adventures. The dad/daughter connection was beautiful. The explanation of braiding traditions was a great addition to this story.

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ADORABLE! I love books like this that enforce the family unit. And this one is unique because it is the father that braids the hair every night. You don't see that a lot, but this is wrapped up in love and sweetness! I absolutely loved this book about family.

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Nightly braids from her dad are a time for storytelling, closeness, and confidence building. One night of a missed tradition helps the main character realize how important this special time with her dad is, but he helps her realize what her braid symbolizes and that she has the strength to do it herself.

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Papa nightly braids his daughter Xia’s hair. During Trenza (braid) time they go on imaginary adventures where she gets to be brave, patient and ambitious. I love that the father is the one doing the braiding and explains how his sisters taught it to him. He also teaches her love symbolism in the braids themselves. The story is sweet with cheery illustrations. This would be a very welcome on my school library shelves for its positive message and POC diversity.

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Yes the book is short but it’s so magical! Zia and her father have got a special routine each day at the end of the day, her father doing the special braids for her hair and have lots of fun adventure with him. I would stop here and tell you the illustrations are breathtaking!

However, some days when her father couldn’t come back home in time Xia gets worried and she feels no one will help her in her adventures. Well, her father gives her an answer which we all will gain the most out of.

Read this beautiful magical book to know when it comes out!

Thank you, Shadow Mountain Publishing, for the advance reading copy.

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This is a sweet, quick read that warms your heart and soul. The family bond is so strong and loving between this father and daughter. This father shows that he loves his daughter by braiding her hair every night and creating adventures together. While one might think this is simply about braiding hair, this father is instilling and establishing foundations of love, trust and self confidence that she will need and use for the rest of her life. As we grow, it’s only natural for roles to shift and children learn to do things on their own and grow more independent. But knowing that her father is there for her any time she needs it, is endearing and heartwarming.

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Only A Trenza Away is a beautiful story for children. I loved the relationship between the little girl and her father. The little girl has a wonderful imagination and I loved the places her and her father went to. The illustrations are bright and engaging!

The author’s note at the end was a nice touch and taught me some history I wasn’t aware of.

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Cute story about a father teaching his daughter all the things he wants her to know and learn about herself through a daily event.

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A cute story about a Dad braiding his daughter's hair every night before bed so it doesn't get tangled.

My complaints - we don't speak Spanish, so there are words that we can't understand. The girl's name is complicated & hard to pronounce. And one night when Dad doesn't make it home in time (he had to work late), her Mom just says, "I wish I could help you..."

(I was able to preview this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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This is a very sweet story about the importance of family time. I love that the father in this story is the one who braids the hair. It is important to show different types of family relationships. The traditions and storytelling is a nice way to illustrate how we can share our histories without just talking about them. I like the positive message that this story tells and the illustrations bring the words to vivid life.

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Such a Sweet Story

Only a Trenza Away is such a sweet story of family relationships, specifically that of a father and daughter. Every night father and daughter go on wonderful adventures as the father braids his daughter's hair and teaches her life lessons. An extra treat can be found at the end of the story where the author shares information which adds an extra special touch. The story and the beautiful illustrations will tug at your heartstrings for sure.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley. All comments and opinions are voluntary and strictly my own.

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I accessed a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.
Xiomara's father puts her hair in a trenza, or braid, every evening. As he brushes and braids her hair Xiomara tells him stories about different adventures. One night he must work late and is not able to braid her hair. When Xiomara speaks to him the next day, he tells her why he helps her.
The family history element was very moving. This book is good for all children because it can help remind them about the family activities that they have and the histories behind them.

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What a beautiful story about confidence, culture and a sweet father-daughter relationship!

This would be the perfect book for any child, especially those who may be experiencing life changes or challenges. I love the depiction of the relationship between the child and her father and how important this special time is to her. I also enjoyed the cultural aspect of the book, which could be explored further as part of a lesson or just to extend the reader's interest.

I would definitely purchase a hard copy for my daughter once it's released! Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read and review this book.

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There is too many great things to say about this book for a written review.

I loved the bond between the father and daughter, the imagination that takes place each night as he braids her hair, the lesson of taking on things by yourself but having your families support and love, the breathtaking illustrations, the history of a braid/trenza, the cultural representation...

GAH! This book and these illustrations are excellent! I wont be able to stop raving about this book!

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A cute story about a girl who loves when her dad braids her hair and tells her stories at night. Each night, during her trenza, she hears magical stories and is transported. A cute story with beautiful illustrations!

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This is such a lovely gentle book. I want to gift it to all my long haired little friends and use it to start new traditions in my own family. I will never look at braids the same way.

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This was a lovely adventure between a little girl and her father's nightly routine before bed. He braids her hair and she imagines wild stories that take place between her and her father. When he's late to return home, she doesn't get her hair braided and worry pervades her sleep and creates a huge tangle in more ways than one. This is a great story about how children love structure but when that routine is disrupted, they need reassurance that all will be okay. Her father explains how he loves to braid her hair because he used to help his sisters with their "trenzas" until they no longer needed him. Both get to enjoy the quality time they spend prepping for bed after his long day at work. The illustrations were very sweet. I love the colors and the Spanish language that is inserted throughout the book.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This might be the most wholesome father/daughter book I have ever read! I follows Xia and her Dad and their nightly routine of braiding her hair before bed. The loving connection between them, the magic that their little routine has and the cultural aspect make this a special book!

Thank you NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This books follows the nightly routine of a father and his daughter of him braiding her hair, trenzas. The magic and connection between the father and Xiomara just touched my heart, as someone who also has a tight connection with her own papa (although, as much as he tried -- no help with my trenzas in my youth) -- it was nice to see a book where that is portrayed. I loved reading and seeing the beautiful illustrations about their nightly adventures. This was also about routine, and when that routine gets interrupted for children, it can be an emotional moment for them and the little life lesson papa gives Xio at the end of the book will just melt your heart, it's a lesson we, as adults, can also keep in our hearts. What a beautiful book!

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This charming picture book is something we need more of! This is a book about a little girl and her relationship with her daughter. After bath time each night he weaves her hair into a braid, whilst telling her stories. In telling her stories the father is preparing the daughter for her future, when he won't be there, telling her she will be strong enough to face whatever comes.

This is a story of familial love, body positivity, tradition and tenderness. I loved it.

The artwork was beautiful, the storytelling was perfect. I give this 5 stars.

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I enjoyed reading this book and remembered my own long trenzas as a little girl. I thought the author’s note was interesting also.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing me with the arc in exchange for an honest review.

This lovely illustrated book is about Xiomara's relationship with her father and their bond. Every night her father braids her hair before she goes to sleep, and during this process they share adventures and stories in lots of possible scenarios, while she also learns about her own confidence and strength.
First of all the illustrations by Camila Carrosinne are stunning and so colorful, I'm obsessed. And the story has a beautiful father-daughter relationship, that even reminded me of my own relationship with my dad, and when he combed my hair before school. I loved how imaginative their "trips" were and the important lesson she learns by the end about her own life, future and her family's traditions with braids.

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This is a cute story of a little girl and her father. While he braided her hair they would go on adventures in their minds together. But one night when her PaPa was working late she began to doubted herself that she could face new challenges. she felt lost and out of place without Papa there to guide her on her adventures. The next night when they sat down to braid her hair her Papa told her that she will need to be brave, patient, focused, curious, and he told her ,when your alone your never alone.
I didn’t know this about the history of braids.
Braids (or trenzas, in Spanish) are one of the oldest hairstyles in the world, dating back more than 25,000 years.

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Only a Trenza Away- A Tale of Trust and Strength, by Nadine Fonseca, Illustrated by Camila Carrossine
Only a Trenza Away, is a tender story where a daughter deeply connects with her father, as he lovingly braids her hair every night.
An adorable book with mesmerizing illustrations, where a young girl Xio learns different virtues like patience, bravery, trust, strength from her father as he carefully braids her tresses every night. As her father braids Xio’s hair, she feels safe and secured protected by her father near her, brave and strong to face the world.

It’s about how a small nighttime routine can turn into a meaningful bonding time where a father and daughter go on a journey together. A journey that is colorful, enchanting, and at times unfamiliar. This is when the father bolsters Xio, to be ready to face the world even if he would not be there with her. Clearly, this nighttime routine helps Xio navigate through the unforeseen times, instill love and confidence and thus shape her personality.

This unique story is a family staple, we loved it and we believe your family will love it too.

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This is a sweet Children's book about the love between a father and his daughter. I loved seeing the Hispanic culture represented in small ways, but it also allows readers of any nationality to connect to it. It would be a great book for someone of any age.

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Using the metaphor of a braid, or trenza, as a reminder of love for self and others, the picture book Only a Trenza Away: A Tale of Trust and Strength by Nadine Fonseca and illustrated by Camilla Carrossine (Shadow Mountain, August 2023) gives a tender lesson between a father and a daughter, emphasizing the importance of inner strength. In the story, Xiomara discovers her own courage, resilience, and patience through the nightly ritual of her father braiding her hair and creating adventures. However, when he cannot braid her hair one night, Xiomara learns she needs to find strength within herself as she prepares for a new adventure at a new school.

In the story, Xiomara’s father teaches her the meaning of the three sections of braid: one section to remind her of those who love her, one section to remind her of those she loves, and the final section to remind her to love herself now and as she hopes to be in the future. Then, as she faces the idea of going to her new school, Xiomara sees her braid and remembers how her father’s love is just a “trenza” away.

The vivid illustrations bursting with bright, swirling colors reflect Xiomara’s confidence and hope. Further, sprinkled throughout the book are a handful of Spanish words, adding a unique cultural touch to the father-daughter duo.

I felt a little unclear as I read as to whether the father tells adventurous stories during the hair braiding session or if Xiomara alone imagines the adventures. In the end, it does not matter, because Xiomara realizes that the braids and the cherished time spent with her father provide her with her strength. Ultimately, she learns the powerful lesson that love accompanies her always, just a braid away.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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As a second-grade teacher, I'm always looking for new picture books to share with my class. Only A Trenza Away is such a wonderful book that can be shared with children in school, and especially at home. It is a book that brings generations together. This story shows the sweet relationship between a daughter and her father who braids her hair every night before bed. While braiding her hair he tells her stories that take Xiomara on adventures to places she's never been.

Another thing wonderful about this book is what Xia's father tells her as he braids her hair into sections. He reminds her of the people who love her deeply, the many people who will need her love, and also to remember to love yourself exactly as you are now and who you hope to be. What super messages to share with children. Love is a universal language that all will be able to understand. This heart-warming book needs to be shared with families in all cultures.

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Papa says, “There will be adventures, like going to your new school, when you’ll need to be brave, patient, focused, and curious. And while you might be on your own, you’ll never be alone, mi’ja.

This is a picture story of a girl Xia who while having her strands woven into braids by her father went on an imaginative adventure where they go in jungle, played duel and jump ropes. But her father via these stories made her prepare for the time when he'll not be there.

This is an amazing work for all the girl children who knew how much it meant to be having their father around.

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I received an electronic ARC from Shadow Mountain Publishing through NetGalley.
Readers meet a young girl who waits eagerly every evening for her Papa to get home. He will braid her hair as he shares about adventures the two will go on. The love and support shine through. One evening, Papa has to work late and for unknown reasons, her mama cannot braid her hair. She feels lost and unable to take care of her hair or be brave. The story finishes with Papa again braiding her hair and talking about the future when she will be strong and courageous enough to set forth on adventures on her own. Lovely message of encouragement and family support. The soft focus of the artwork around the characters is soothing and helps readers visualize the adventures. Terrific book for families to read together.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review; all opinions are my own.

This children's book is delightful!

I didn't know what "trenza" meant until reading the story—it incorporates a few Spanish words within the English text.

The themes are love, family, strength, and being there for others. I love to see the relationships of kids with their parents in such a positive light. Love pours off the page.

The book also includes background information about the tradition of braiding hair.

I want a physical copy on my shelves! And I highly recommend this book.

Happy reading!

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A beautifully illustrated story of a young girl who learns that she’s never alone as long as she thinks of her trenza (braid) to remind her of the people who love her, belief in herself and helping others is important. I love how her father helps her feel more confident as she moves into being more independent.

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