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I Love My Hair
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About the Author

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley is the author of several books for children, including The Harlem Charade, Joe-Joe's First Flight, and Destiny's Gift, and the companion to this picture book, I Love My Haircut! She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and numerous other awards. Natasha is a graduate of Howard University and resides in Chicago.

E. B. Lewis is the illustrator of dozens of books for children, including Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and Talkin' About Bessie by Nikki Grimes. His work is frequently exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, and he serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Watercolor Club. He lives in New Jersey.

Reviews

In I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illus. by E.B. Lewis, the narrator loves the nightly ritual of her mother combing her hair (it is "thick as a forest, soft as cotton candy, and curly as a vine winding upward, reaching the sky." About the 1998 hardcover, PW said, "In this gracefully told story, a young African-American heroine celebrates her lovely head of hair as part of her heritage." Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2‘A young African-American girl describes the familiar mother-daughter nightly ritual of combing the tangles out of her hair. When she cries because it hurts, her sympathetic mother tells her how lucky she is to have such beautiful hair. Imaginatively, the woman goes on to say that she can spin it into a fine, soft bun or "plant rows of braids" along her scalp, prompting her daughter to think of other wonderful things she likes about her hair. The superb watercolor illustrations move from the intimacy and security of Keyana's bedroom to the neighborhood streets and finally to the whole world as her mother's imagery becomes reflected in the art. Keyana's hair is spun on a spinning wheel, becomes part of rows of plants in a garden, and merges with a globe of the whole world. The child's favorite style, however, is two ponytails that flap like wings on each side of her head, and the final picture is of Keyana triumphantly flying free against the blue sky. Pictures and text reflect the expanding horizons of the child's world as she learns to be proud of her distinctive hair and her heritage. Carolivia Herron's Nappy Hair (Knopf, 1997) and Alexis De Veaux's The Enchanted Hair Tale (HarperCollins, 1991) treat the same subject well, but this book has a simpler text that can be used both as a read-aloud to a group or on a mother's lap. A very special book about self-acceptance.‘Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

"A very special book about self-acceptance."--School Library Journal
"A celebration of African-American identity....Lewis's watercolors are masterful."--Booklist
"Wonderful....[A] sweet story of learning to love yourself without compromise."--Chicago Tribune
"A gracefully told story....Author and artist impart a reassuring message about the importance of appreciating who they are."--Publishers Weekly

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