When I Wrap My Hair

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Jan. 2024. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063093911.
K-Gr 4–Vibrant colors and lyrical prose intermingle to depict the emotions of a young girl as she wraps her hair in the traditional style of her African culture. The colors of sun, sky, earth, and trees surround her, and the connections to an ancient past speak to her as “I feel a thousand grandmothers around me.” The colors transport her to the river, the woods, and the marketplace as her mother and grandmother wrap her hair, and the stories of her history weave together in “one beautiful tone.” Illustrations by Mohammed shine in this simple reflection of a young girl’s experience with her hair. The emotions fairly pulsate from the pages in exquisite color and light as sheer joy. This message of positivity and cultural connection is simply written yet strikingly brought to life in images that reflect an everlasting bond to rituals.
VERDICT An enchanting addition to libraries, where cultural connections are key; the artwork will inspire creativity in any classroom.

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