It's February 4th, so I'm going to give you 3 books today to make up for the weekend and bring our total to four titles.
Look at that cover! Look at those awards! Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
We started the school year by reading this majestic book to our 3rd-5th on their first trip to the library. This book is a beautiful tribute to the barber shop and how it makes one feel important.
Here's the Publishers Weekly review: How good can a haircut make a person feel? “Magnificent. Flawless. Like royalty.” In a powerfully moving tribute to barbershop culture, Barnes (We Could Be Brothers) addresses readers directly—and it’s safe to say his audience is primarily boys of color—using hyperbole to boost their confidence and help them recognize their own value. “You came in as a lump of clay,” he writes, “a blank canvas, a slab of marble./ But when my man is done with you,/ they’ll want to post you up in a museum.” Created with thick, forceful daubs of paint, James’s luminous portraits reinforce the idea that, when a person looks this good, not even the sky is the limit. Of a man admiring the curving designs newly shaved into his head, the narrator remarks, “Maybe there’s a river named after him on Mars. He looks that important.” Pride, confidence, and joy radiate from the pages, both in the black and brown faces of men, women, boys, and girls featured in James’s majestic paintings and in writing that celebrates human worth with every syllable. Barbers included: “Tip that man! Tip that man!”
Sticking with the theme, here are two other great books we have on the shelves by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Bippity Bop Barbershop and I Love My Hair!
Publishers Weekly reviews:
What Natasha Anastasia Tarpley did for the mother-daughter bond in I Love My Hair! she now does for father and son in Bippity Bop Barbershop, illus. by E.B. Lewis. One full-bleed watercolor spread depicts three generations of men draped in purple barber's capes, each with his own distinguished hairstyle.
In Tarpley's gracefully told story, a young African American heroine celebrates her lovely head of hair as part of her heritage. Each evening, Keyana's mother lovingly combs out her tangles before bed and, when it hurts, Mama assures her that she is very lucky to have such hair " because it's beautiful and you can wear it in any style you choose." Lewis's (Creativity; Staying Cool) realistic watercolors take fanciful flight as parent and child describe what can be done with the girl's locks: braids at the top of Keyana's head become hoed rows of vegetables in a field behind her as Mama explains that she can "plant rows of braids along your scalp, the way we plant seeds in our garden"; and, pictured against the night sky, the child's Afro-styled hair metamorphoses into an image of the earth as she notes that, when she lets it " go any which-way it pleases," her hair surrounds her head "like a globe." But the style also has historical importance, for, as her teacher tells her, " wearing an Afro was a way... to stand up for what they believed." Together, author and artist impart a reassuring message for all children about the importance of appreciating what they look like as part of who they are.