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Hair love
Book
2019
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

In this endearing take on stories pertaining to promoting natural hairstyles for African American children, Cherry and Harrison create an unforgettable picture book about the bond between an African American father and his daughter. Readers will love the positive language used to describe kinks, coils, braids, twists, and Afro puffs as stylish and regal looks fit for royalty. The illustrations meld perfectly with the story as the illustrious depictions help explain the wonders of hair growth, shrinkage, moisturizing, and styling Black hair. It also features a young, hip dad with beautiful tattoos and his own hair styled in long dreads. The father and daughter's tender interactions are heartwarming to observe and will easily become a favorite among families. Written and illustrated in a style similar to Natasha Anastasia Tarpley's I Love My Hair! (1998), Cherry and Harrison's book provides an engaging and lovable story for younger audiences. Parents, children, caregivers, teachers, and librarians will find this story to be the right fit for their bookshelves. Grades K-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Based on Cherry's animated short film of the same title, this picture book about a black girl and her hair pairs the first-time children's book author and Harrison, an author, illustrator, and filmmaker. Zuri is proud of her hair, which "kinks, coils, and curls every which way." But she needs a spectacular coif on a special day. Her devoted father tackles the task, gamely noting that it will be "a piece of cake." Harrison's emotionally charged digital images of Zuri's reactions match the exasperated girl's spot-on utterances: when he desperately pulls a woolen hat over her head, she urges, "We can do better than that"—and they do. With Zuri's encouragement, her stylist nails it, fashioning "funky puff buns" just in time for a rewarding apogee: Mommy's return home. A bighearted ode to individuality and father-daughter collaboration. Ages 4–8. (May)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 3—Zuri wakes up on a very special day and needs a perfect hairstyle. The young black girl thinks of the wondrous things her hair can do and how it reflects her personality: "I love that my hair lets me be me!" Full-page spreads alternate with smaller sequential art as Zuri imagines herself a regal princess with beaded braids and a superhero with Afro puffs. When it comes time for the unidentified event, Zuri needs all the hair help she can get; luckily, Daddy is right by her side. With a comb and video tutorials in hand, he tries a number of styles to no avail; they just aren't special enough! Finally, the pair land the perfect look, and Zuri feels more ready than ever for her special event—her mother's long-awaited return. Cherry has crafted a celebration of black hair and family that will connect with many. Young readers may be all too familiar with Zuri's longing and excitement for a loved one to come home. Harrison's charming digital renderings thrive both in their detail and in the abstract, from the typical kid detritus piled under Zuri's bed to the dreamy pastel backgrounds. The characters' vivacity leaps off the page with sweetness and gentle humor; Zuri's unimpressed expressions will guarantee laughs during read-alouds. Mommy's headwrap and Daddy's locs may be an introduction, or a welcome moment of familiarity, for a variety of readers. VERDICT A wonderful slice-of-life tale about family support, black hair, and embracing individuality. Highly recommended for picture book collections.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, and the Baltimore Ravens. In 2007 he retired and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment. Now, he directs music videos and short films, including "Hair Love," the animated short film on which this book is based. Matthew was named to Paste Magazine's list of Directors to Watch in 2016.

Vashti Harrison is the author-illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, which is also a NAACP Image Award winner. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in Media Studies and Studio Art, and received her MFA in Film and Video from CalArts where she snuck into Animation classes to learn from Disney and Dreamworks legends. There she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now, utilizing both skill sets, she is passionate about crafting beautiful stories in both the film and picture book worlds. - (Penguin Putnam)

Annotations

An ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters by the former NFL wide receiver depicts an exuberant little girl whose dad helps her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self. Illustrated by the award-wining artist of Little Leaders. Movie tie-in. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

A little girl's daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self. - (Baker & Taylor)

"I love that Hair Love is highlighting the relationship between a Black father and daughter. Matthew leads the ranks of new creatives who are telling unique stories of the Black experience. We need this."
     - Jordan Peele, Actor & Filmmaker

It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters, from Academy-Award winning director and former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison.


Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it's beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her -- and her hair -- happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair -- and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. - (Penguin Putnam)

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