“I love that my hair lets me be me!”
Zuri knows her thick afro hair is beautiful, and that ‘it has a mind of its own / it kinks and coils every which way’. Styling it in different ways makes her feel proud, strong and pretty. She wakes up on a particularly ‘special day’ with plans to recreate an ambitious hairstyle she finds on the internet. Keen not to wake Daddy, who has been ‘worn out’ of late, she creeps about considerately, but in the end she needs his assistance….although they both discover it’s not as easy as it looks in the tutorial. Daddy’s first few (rather wonky) attempts are firmly rejected as not special enough. Tears are shed, but the close-knit pair come up with a plan, show some determination and patience, and the final style is spectacular! The story concludes with a reveal of what makes the day so special: Mummy is coming home! The family embrace and Mummy says Zuri is ‘the prettiest supergirl’ she’s ever seen.
There is so much to like about this positive picture book. Featuring a black family (who are frustratingly under-represented in picture books), illustrator Vashti Harrison has captured the emotions and character of the protagonist and her father perfectly: their frustrations, struggles and ambitions are realistic, endearing and absorbing, and she is, of course, brilliant at drawing hair! Zuri obviously adores her dreadlocked, tattoed Daddy, and the feeling is mutual….hats off to him for his bottomless supply of patience and optimism. The story is a perfect testament to how much confidence and strength a child can draw from loving and gentle parenting. A really entertaining and encouraging book to share with any child, regardless of their situation, origin or character.