Most young girls and women of color can remember their favorite stories from childhood. Dr. Seuss was probably a hit, among other notable authors.
Now it seems a new wave is emerging in children’s books, one with a great amount of melanin. Psychologists and parents agree, all children need to read books that encourage them to love who they are and pursue any dream conceivable.
For Black girls, the positive imagery is especially significant because it instills self-pride. Here’s a list of great books that remind little Black girls to love their hair the way it is.
Sitting on a mountain of books, I Love My Cotton Candy Hair says it all. It begins with a little girl keeping it real and explaining what is fun and not-so-fun about her cotton candy curls, and follows with her finding beauty in the variations of textures found among her family and friends. Instilling confidence in Black girls early is the best way to arm them against a society that regards their hair and skin as “less than.” Author Updegraff released I Love My Cotton Candy Hair as the first installment of a children’s series titled, “A Girl named Charlie Presents…Stories about loving yourself just the way you are!”
“…(while) all that (other) hair is pretty and fun…I LOVE being me and everything that comes with it. Especially my fluffy, fuzzy, cotton candy hair!”
Perfect for toddlers and early school age girls, Big Hair, Don’t Care is mainly an illustrative book with positive images and confidence boosting text. The cover of the book features a little lady with a bold smile and an Afro as big as the blue sky.
“Braids, twists, and puffs are so chic, my hair is different every week!”
Truly can do it all. In this novel, cute and spunky Truly proves she can do anything, and that means anything. Truly can tame lions, race cards, fly to the moon and learn Japanese! With her little Afro puffs, Truly believes with all her heart that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. Her hard work, dedication, and sense of personal power are exactly the kind of values Black girls everywhere should grow up hearing.
“I am clever, I am curious, I am an engineer. I am confident, I am courageous, I am a volunteer. “-Truly
This book sounds like the Black Power mantra, “I’m Black and I’m Proud!” The story starts in a place every Black girl, teen, and woman remembers. Before bed, Keyana sits down between Mama’s knees to get her hair combed. Nostalgia, anyone? No matter how gentle her mother is, Keyana says it still hurts. Keyana doesn’t like her hair and how much it hurts. Her mama reminds her that she is lucky because she can wear it any way she wants. Eventually Keyana finds reasons to love her hair, and she wears it the way she chooses with pride.
“I can part your hair into straight lines and plant rows of braids into your scalp, the way we plant seeds in our garden.”-Keyana’s Mama
Who says you’re too old to color outside the lines? Creativity is great for everyone and this November, Black women everywhere can find themselves with a few crayons and quiet corner to explore their inner child. Illustrator, designer and teacher, Andrea Pippins’ book features a myriad of hairstyles and textures. Some pictures mimic notable coifs from historic icons like Cleopatra and Diana Ross. Pippins’ first-ever coloring book joins the emerging category for adults who want to creatively release stress. I Love My Hair, the coloring book, will be available on bookshelves November 10.