I play princess with braided crowns.
My hair is mine, from curls to puffs.
You can look, but please don’t touch.
My Hair is a simple but elegant board book celebrating the various styles that can be created with curly hair. Each page features the head of a child, showing a unique hair style, along with the style’s name. It introduces terminology, such as Bantu knots, that may be unfamiliar to some children. The tone is positive and confident, reaffirming the message that all types of hair have power and beauty. The final two pages of this board book depict various styles with their correct names, such as bun, Afro, twists, pigtails, TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro) and more. The background of each portrait is bright and colourful.
Not only does My Hair add to the body of children’s literature affirming Black lives, it also alludes to the issue of respecting personal space, an important concern that is slowly and genuinely infusing itself into the body of Canadian children’s literature. Cox includes a page with the message that it is acceptable to look at one’s hair, but it is not permissible to touch, a concept that may provide parents and educators a useful discussion topic.
Roxy Garstad is the Collections Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.