Meet Wanda with her beautiful head of hair. She is brave and strong, but she’s unhappy because of the endless teasing by the boys at school. After a particularly hard day at school, feeling confused, forlorn and hopeless, Wanda’s grandmother lets her in on a few secrets. Through these hair secrets and stories, she finds the courage to face her fears and realise that her hair is a crown and something to be proud of. This book stands at the intersection of identity and beauty, celebrating how cultural pride is learned and passed on over the generations. This book encourages young children to love themselves for what they are born with, despite what society may say or think.
There are a lot of great picture books about hair. But this one holds its own and sets itself apart beautifully. While it is distressing to see a young child have to change themselves due to a teacher's discriminatory actions, there are no other picture books I can think about that address this matter head on. Beautifully told.
This offers a colorful and lively insight into the many ways in which larger society can diminish the positivity instilled by family- in this case related to natural hair, but it can extend to any situation in which daily encounters with bullying, rudeness, belittling will undermine self-worth. The langage incorporates some names and terms from South Africa, adding layers of potential exploration between personal experiences and cultures with others from various geographic areas. Pair with CROWN, HAIR LOVE, and others.
Wanda is a beautiful story about loving one’s features and bringing ourselves up by those features, in the context of this story, Wanda and her big hair! Although her classmates and horrible teacher, insult Wanda’s hair, she pushes through and remembers that her hair is her crown and is something to be very proud of. Wanda’s grandmother reminds her that she is beautiful like other women with her hairstyle and gives her a makeover worthy of a queen! A sweet story of diversity and acceptance of oneself that every girl deserves to read and be inspired by!
Such a moving story. It reminded me of "Your name is a song" by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow in that it focuses on a child who becomes embraced about an aspect of themselves in a world that can be ignorant to people of color. We see her become very distraught and was to change her hair to be like that of the other girls, the girls not like her. However, we see that she is shown that her hair is a "crown"and that it is a thing to embrace about herself. This book can make so many girls of color feel seen which is such an amazing thing.
This book is a very impactful one, it is about a girl who gets teased for her hair and it being "too big". It shows the impacts of her getting teased about her hair and that she is embarrassed of her hair. After that she comes to realize he hair is beautiful and she learns about her family and how to care for her hair.
I really liked the story of empowerment, and appreciated that it is implied that it took place in South Africa. I hated how the teacher was allowed to continue making children ashamed of their natural hair. But I guess that is a reality that can't be escaped.
It is a simple story about a Black girl struggling with self-acceptance but it is also very observant of children's feelings and thoughts around their feelings in a way that makes the story universal and easily accessible as such.