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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hair Love, written by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Kokila, Penguin Random House. 2019. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"My hair even does magic
tricks. One day Rocky and I
were playing outside when
along came the rain.

From large to small it went.
Presto! Just like that!

There is nothing my hair
can't do!"

We read this book day after day when my granddaughters were here this summer. They loved it, and wanted to hear every night before bed. They have a dad who paints their nails, fixes their hair, and encourages their independence. So, they were thrilled to see how hard this dad worked to do his best job of styling his daughter's hair in celebration of their special day.

He does need help, and she is more than willing to give it. After all, Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. She loves it as does her dad; there are so many ways she can wear it. Her excitement for the day to come has her awake early. She tiptoes past her sleeping father, who is much in need of a break after caring for her every hour of the day.

Zuri knows exactly how she wants her hair to be styled; in anticipation, she is prepared to look to an expert on her tablet. Her cat knocks her tablet out of her hand, waking her father. He is fully prepared to help with a multitude of styles. Good for you, Dad. Many tries without success has her dad taking the lead from Zuri. It's the tablet to the rescue, with all the right instructions!

"Daddy combed,
     parted, oiled and twisted.

           He nailed it!"

And just in the nick of time, as it happens.

The digital illustrations are the perfect accompaniment, showing a loving family and the work they do to support one another. The details are warm and and another layer to the story  told. Expressive and encouraging, they show a dad committed to making this very special even more so.

And here's the film!

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