Mira's Curly Hair, by Maryam al Serkal, illustrated by Rebeca Luciani
I loved this one.
Mira’s Curly Hair is about a little girl who has hair that curls at the front and curls at the back and curls everywhere, BUT wishes her curly hair was “straight and smooth, just like her Mama’s.”
She tries to straighten it by standing on her hands, by stacking books on her head, by using various combs and brushes and clips, but nothing works.
But then one day she and her mother are caught out in the rain, and Mira is surprised to find that she and her Mama DO have the same hair after all.
The illustrations are beautiful—I especially love the colors, and this spread of Mira’s Supremely Unimpressed Face delights me every single time I look at it:
It does a great job of showing how kids—and given the arc of the story, I’d argue, grown-ups—internalize messages about what is Good Hair and what is Not. (The magazines in front of Mira on the table in the above are a nice touch—the photo is of a lady with smooth hair, and the text on one of the others talks about “Neat Heads.”)
Overall, it’s an affirming celebration of natural hair as well as being a lovely story about learning to love ourselves as we are.
A few other picture books about hair—and in all three cases, books that specifically feature Black girls—that I’ve read recently:
Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison—this one is ADORABLE and sweet and features a bonus super-cranky cat, don’t miss it.
Princess Hair and Don’t Touch My Hair, by Sharee Miller—and these two are CONSTANTLY checked out at my library, which is generally a good sign! (And Don’t Touch My Hair, while it deals with actual consent issues that people deal with on a daily basis, is really funny.)