This joyous and loving celebration of family is the first-ever picture book to highlight Black nighttime hair traditions--and is perfect for every little girl who knows what it's like to lose her bonnet just before bedtime.
In my family, when the sun goes down, our hair goes up! My brother slips a durag over his locs. Sis swirls her hair in a wrap around her head. Daddy covers his black waves with a cap. Mama gathers her corkscrew curls in a scarf. I always wear a bonnet over my braids, but tonight I can't find it anywhere!
Bedtime Bonnet gives readers a heartwarming peek into quintessential Black nighttime hair traditions and celebrates the love between all the members of this close-knit, multi-generational family.
Perfect for readers of Hair Love and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Nancy Redd is an award-winning on-air host, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, a two-time Mom's Choice Award winner, an NAACP Image Award nominee for outstanding literary work, and a GLAAD Media Award nominee for outstanding digital journalism. She is also the author of BEDTIME BONNET. Called "the perfect combination of style and substance" by Essence magazine, Nancy holds an honors degree in women's studies from Harvard University. THE REAL SANTA was inspired by Nancy's family's own beloved Christmas traditions. Find Nancy online at www.nancyredd.com.
*15 years ago, I appeared on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? with Regis Philbin and won $250,000. This would be my first time tripping on national television. *I also went on Let's Make a Deal and only won $100, but connected with Wayne afterward and collaborated on an adorable, if unpublished, parenting project together. *Right after graduating from Harvard, I became Miss Virginia and won the swimsuit competition at Miss America. This would be my second time tripping on national television. *I ate my placenta and wrote about it for The New York Times in a piece virally heralded as the "NYT Headline of the Century."
There's lots more, but this is already too long, so reach out if you want to know more about me!
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books. Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd and illustrated by Nneka Myers, is book #4 (of 20) of 2020. Another African-American hair book (such as Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harison) or Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron.
Hank (14): 4 stars. I like the cross-eyed dog. And I like the story.
Harry (15): 3.5 or 4. It’s another hair book like Hair Love that we read last year, but it’s a better hair book because it’s a better story. And has a funny ending.
Tara: 3 stars. Not bad. Kind of cute. A family book.
Dave: 3 stars. I initially rated it two stars because, compared to Hair Love, the standard-fare digital art pales in comparison to the work of Vashti Harrison. The thing I have come to like about it is that this book, while focusing on this unique practice of wearing a bonnet to bed to prevent tangles and lint, is also about all the different kinds of hair in this family, and the different treatments all the different kinds of hair are given. Grandma has curlers, Grandpa shaves his head, and so on. But the story of the missing bonnet, um, why is that in here? Eh. I liked the black pride and family aspects of the book but otherwise found it unremarkable.
This was one of the books on my #MustReadin2020 list and I added it because 1) I've never read a book, picture book or otherwise, that talks about the significance of the hair bonnet 2) because Nneka Myers's cover art captured my attention with the big curls and sweet bedtime kisses from mommy. This is the first time I have experienced her art. Her work in this book was refreshingly beautiful, fun, and endearing.
Until I had my own children and started to learn how to take care of their hair, I never had such an awareness of proper haircare. Sure, I wrapped my hair up at night as a teenager. My hair was relaxed and I wrapped it around my head much like Big Sis did in this story because I wore it straight. As a mother, I made the decision to stop relaxing both of my daughters' hair. I felt the need to free us from that learned pastime to allow their natural hair to grow. Here's where the bedtime bonnets came into play for us, to protect our hair at night until the morning light and Nancy Redd's Bedtime Bonnet gets that. It accurately captures the significance of braiding or twisting up our hair at night, wrapping it up with scarves and durags, or bonnets as we ready ourselves for bed. I appreciate this depiction. I appreciate Grandpa's sense of humor and his low maintenance bald head (lol). All in all, I enjoyed every bit of this book and would recommend it as a gift for the children in your life and for your classroom or library. It is recommended for pre-k through 2nd grade but of course adults will love it too.
What a lovely addition to the bedtime routine genre! This is a story about a family’s hair routine at bedtime. Each family member has their own special way of preparing their hair for sleep. But there’s one problem—the youngest daughter can’t find her bedtime bonnet! She can’t go to sleep without it! So she asks each member of her family in turn if they’ve seen her bedtime bonnet. It turns out Grandpa was wearing it for a joke. Oh, Grandpa!
It felt so comforting for me to spend time with this family. Her Grandpa reminds me of my Grandpa—bald, making jokes, and pulling pranks. If you ever want to feel warm and cozy, give this a try.
What I Loved: I loved the family in this story. They were playful and fun, and they obviously loved each other. It was a beautiful representation of a family and their bedtime routine, and my daughter and I loved it!
How I Felt: The characters were so fun and vibrant in Bedtime Bonnet. The grandfather is playful, the mother is kind, and the entire family gives off such a loving vibe. I just enjoyed reading a story about characters that were so clearly bonded together.
The illustrations were beautiful. They were filled with bright colors and a variety of interesting details that had my daughter and I taking a few extra minutes to enjoy the art.
The story provided a look into one family’s bedtime hair routines. We learn about each family member’s different actions before bed. Grandma and her hair rollers, sister brushes her hair, and brother twists his locks. The little girl gets her hair brushed, but then can’t find her bedtime bonnet! The entire family helps her search, but in the end, the real question wasn’t where it was, but who was wearing it. It was a delightful way to end the book, on a silly, happy high-note.
I really liked that we got a chance to see what each family wears on their head for bed. I enjoyed the different types of headpieces that are used, and my daughter really enjoyed talking about each one separately!
Overall: This was an adorable story of family and routine. It offered insight into a different bedtime from our own, and my daughter really enjoyed that!
To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend Bedtime Bonnet to any child. It is perfect for pre-k through early elementary. Each page only has only a few sentences, so it keeps a young reader’s attention. We’ll be reading this a lot for bedtime in the future!
I was provided an advanced reader's copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
This book was about a little girl and her family and their nightly routine. In the book it talks about how when the sun goes down the family’s hair go up and she had a special bonnet for her hair. I can totally relate to this book because I remember getting the comb, brush and hairbows sitting on the floor watching a nighttime show as my mom did my hair for the next day. However, I was a country girl and I had super long thick hair (before I developed alopecia), so instead of a Bonnet my mom would use a pair of old pantyhose and a head scarf. Reading this story brought back so many memories of the talks I had with my mom as she did my hair. I think this would be a wonderful book to have in the classroom library as I feel every little girl of all cultures can relate.
Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Nneka Myers PICTURE BOOK Penguin Random House, 2020 $18 9781984895240
BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE
AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE
"When the sun goes down, our hair goes up!" Part of this family's bedtime ritual is preparing their hair for the night. Everyone combs or brushes or smooths or braids or curls (except Grandpa because he doesn't have hair on his head), and then they protect their hair with a durag or a wrap or a cap or a scarf, but the little girl telling the story can't find her bonnet! What will cover her braids?
I loved being part of a whole family bedtime routine. The sweet illustrations were perfect, bright and colorful with great details. Grandpa tells a very funny joke, and everyone is so loving and kind. A great bedtime story for any child.
This playful, fun picture book explores a Black family's varying bedtime hair care routines. I have never seen anything quite like this, and enjoyed it very much. From my perspective, it was educational, and for a Black reader, it represents a familiar part of life that rarely receives any representation or acknowledgement. I would recommend this to families and classrooms, and it could also be fun for a library storytime that focuses on families or everyday routines.
A wonderful look at an African-American hair tradition common with many black individuals. We learned about the bedtime bonnet when we adopted our 2 youngest children who are African-American but had never heard of the bedtime bonnet before that time. I love the fun nature of this book and family and the opportunity to introduce a new tradition that may be foreign to other cultures.
This book is a fun way to introduce the different nighttime routines Black people have for their hair care, both male and female, and not just the bedtime bonnet. The illustrations are vibrant and definitely add to the beauty of the story. I can only imagine the excitement on a young child's face when they see their bedtime routine on the pages of a book!
A black family prepares for bed, each taking the time to perform their nighttime hair care routines as part of their bedtime rituals. Each family member has their own routine, based on their own unique style, and we see them through the viewpoint of the youngest member of the family. But what will she do when she’s unable to get ready for bed, after her bonnet goes missing? —————————
I thought this was really cute. I love this illustration style, which was very bright and cheerful - the girl and her puppy are adorable. And I love the little touches of humour shown through the dog as he follows his owner through the house - including when they’re snug in bed, with her in her bonnet and the dog in a hair wrap and blindfold (eye mask?).
The story part is a little less memorable - more non-fiction than fiction. The hair care info I did think was interesting, especially the different types needed for the different styles. (People definitely underestimate the amount of care dreads take! I wouldn’t have the patience to care for my hair lock-by-lock!) And I thought the side-story with the missing bonnet was a nice touch to add an actual plot to the story. Overall it makes a good intro to teach young kids about caring for their hair, and bedtime routines.
Bedtime Bonnet follows the nighttime hair routines of a Black family. Grandma wears rollers, dad a wave cap, mom a scarf, sis a wrap, brother a durag, and the youngest wears a bonnet. Nancy Redd was inspired to write this book, "by the lack of resources [she] encountered when she introduced a bonnet to her daughter's nighttime routine," according to the About the Author. Depictions of non-white hair care is sadly lacking in our media, and Bedtime Bonnet is a crucial publication to address this gap. And it's also a sweet and joyful story with adorable illustrations!
Hopefully I'm not misremembering and misattributing this quote, but I thought it was sad when in Ijeoma Oluo's book she points out that she knows everything there is to know about taking care of white girls' hair due to its representation in media, but white girls know nothing about taking care of black girls' hair. I found this to be a true statement for myself so I'm glad that hair diversity has been making its way into children's literature. This is a cute and funny story normalizing black hair care. I think kids will get a kick out of the book's punch line.
A sweet story from the perspective of a little girl about how each member of her family cares for their hair hair at night, including sleeping in a bonnet or other hair covering, for a beautiful morning look.
This is so cute and so important! I love how each family member has a different ritual for their hair, especially because when representation like this is shown, sometimes it's only one type and not different experiences.
The jacket flap says "Celebrate Black culture and traditions in this loving delightful ode to Black hair," but what sells it to me is that it is a warm, loving story about a family. That's what will get it read and re-read.
A beautifully drawn book showing the different hair textures and routines of a Black family. I definitely wished I had this book when I was younger just to know the importance of head scarves and bonnets.
I love how this book addresses the importance of black hair and the maintenance that is required. Hair is a big part of who people are in many cultures so it is important for children to see people that look like them practicing similar daily activities in a fun and engaging way. The illustrations were clear and colorful, as well.
A nice book with the bedtime hair routines of a family of color. Each family member has a slightly different ritual - except funny grandpa, because he's bald! I enjoyed the loving and humorous interactions between family members.