Hair, It’s a Family Affair

Cassava Republic. Apr. 2019. 28p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781911115687.
PreS-Gr 1–Young Macy stands proudly in front of her seated classmates and states: “I’m going to tell you all about my family’s hair!” She proceeds to do just that, ruminating on her grandma’s vibrant old-school Afro, her big sister’s locks, and her baby sister’s soft auburn curls (which only Macy can comb). Evident in her joyful commentary is the love Macy has for her friends and family and the role hair plays in their relationships. Hair is a way to connect to her grandma’s past, a means of admiring cousin Kiki’s unique style, and a pastime with her best friend/aspiring hairdresser Troy. “My mom always says that hair is a family affair!” Macy exclaims on a spread as mom, Macy, and her sisters are shown sitting in a line doing one another’s hair. Bright, adorable illustrations depict black characters sporting a variety of hair and clothing styles, with soft watercolor blends perfectly capturing the myriad textures of natural hair. Freeman’s art, a delightful mix of gentle and vibrant, is the true standout of this simple picture book that is lacking a bit in its narrative.
VERDICT A sweet exploration of family and expressing love through hair care rituals. Recommended for general purchase

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