The Good Hair Day

Abrams. May 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419745881.
PreS-Gr 3–When it comes to certain desired birthday presents, Noah is assertive and communicative. But regarding his actual birthday wish (a head of long, wavy hair), he is less sure of how to verbalize his needs. Noah imagines what life would look like with the coif he pines for: An undulating mane that could unlock adventures, magic, and joy. Will Noah find the words to tell his family what he truly longs for? Yang depicts Noah’s imagined curls roaming around and through pages, moving as if though underwater, giving Noah’s indigo and jewel-toned daydreams a tranquil, yet majestic quality. Noah’s facial expression on the last page, one of pure joy and self-realization, is another artistic triumph. An affirming, supportive community sets The Good Hair Day apart from the growing number of picture books regarding gender presentation and expression. Whereas other protagonists have been met with some form of cruelty and ignorance from their fictional caregivers and classmates, Noah is presented only with understanding and tenderness. With black hair and tan skin like most of his family, Noah has an inner dialogue regarding his prospective tresses, where he vaguely remembers an unkind statement said about men with long hair; this is by far the harshest scenario presented and very realistic. The back matter provides gentle and clear conversation starters which will prove indispensable for educators and families seeking vocabulary to use when discussing gender, identity, and self-expression.
VERDICT A necessary and vital purchase for all collections that serve elementary school communities.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing