Title: I Love My Hair
Author: Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; February 1, 1998
Topic/Theme: African American Heritage, Hair, Ethnic Identity, Cultural Identity, Heritage Pride
Ages: 4 - 8
Every night before I go to bed, Mama combs my hair. I sit between her knees, resting my elbows on her thighs like pillows.
Every night before she goes to bed, Keyana sits down between her mother's knees to have her hair combed. But no matter how gently Mama pulls, it still hurts sometimes! Keyana doesn't feel lucky to have such a head of hair, but Mama says she is because she can wear it any way she chooses. "I can spin your hair into a fine, soft yarn, just like our grandmothers did at their spinning wheels," she tells her. "Or I can part your hair into strait lines and plant rows of braids along your scalp, the way we plant seeds in our garden." Soon Keyana, too, finds reasons to love her hair, and she wears it any way she chooses with pride.
Discussion topics: Hair types. Have children describe their hair. Have them use descriptive words. Have children find something unique about their hair. Craft: Create self-portraits concentrating on hair types. Children can use different kinds of material that best matches their hair type, color, length, style and texture such as yarn, string, pipe cleaners, ribbon, cotton, and colored markers.
Lesson plans from Scholastics, http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/i-love-my-hair-lesson-plan and Social Studies Resources, http://www.socialstudiesresources.org/books/122
Why I like this book:
LOL! boy does this book bring back memories! I could see myself (especially my baby sister) in Keyana. Yes, I remember the days when I sat between my mama, grandma, auntie or cousin's knees and got my hair done. I was not as tender headed as my youngest sister who would cry, cry, cry and beg for my mom to use the brush first when she got her hair down but there were times when my hair was a bit nappier than usual and tears fell. But I loved to get my hair done. While I liked getting my hair pressed sometimes, I really liked getting it braided! I tried an afro once but had a heck of a time getting it back under control! :D But I loved my hair. Even today I prefer it natural than straightened (guess I got burned one to many times growing up :D) But this book really focuses on loving yourself. Loving your hair, loving your style and your heritage. We are all beautiful in our own way.