Growing up I remember reading one book where the main character was black. As a child you do not consciously think of colour or race, but knowing there are books out there with characters ‘like you’ is reassuring and a great angle to explore whilst reading. So when I saw ‘I Love My Hair’ suggested to me by Amazon, the BUY button was clicked.
I love my Hair!
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Keyanna takes us through a childhood theme we are all so familiar with, that time when mummy makes us sit down to do our hair. Keyanna is upset, as she cannot find anything good about her hair. Her mother then uses her imagination to demonstrate how beautiful Keyanna’s afro hair really is.
I love the fact that this book exists. Personally growing up in a place where my hair type was alien (to myself), it took a while to understand why my hair was so ‘different’.
In the story Keyanna shows a dislike to her hair, a scenario which is common, especially since her hair seems to be causing her grief whilst her mum tries her best to comb it. A scenario which I personally remember too well. To the point I wondered if I could change the texture of my hair. As I read this book it brought up memories. I thought to myself young children should never have to worry about something such as hair, but in reality, some do.
Enough with the sob stories, the point is a child should be taught to accept themselves and be happy with their identities, especially in a multicultural society where so much diversity exists. Keyanna is a character many young girls can relate to, in the book Keyanna’s Afro hair is compared to the beauties of nature in the simplest way, by the end of the book Keyanna begins to love her hair.
I’ve been doing my two year olds hair (which she calmly sits through) and when we do open the book she immediately recognises Keyanna’s lovely hair, as well as the well drawn scenery.