Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Review - My Hair

My Hair
by Hannah Lee
illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan
Date: 2019
Publisher: Faber & Faber Children's
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Join one little girl's search for the BEST party hair - as demonstrated by her family and friends.

Will it be dreads or a twist out? Braids or a high-top fade? Joyous and vibrant, this captures perfectly the excitement of getting ready for a celebration, as well as showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles.

This is a glorious debut from an exciting new partnership who both emerged from the FAB Prize for undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a cute rhyming picture book about a little girl's search for the best hairstyle for her upcoming birthday party.

It's really a celebration of black hair. Not being black myself, I can't say that I could relate to the book... but I found it really interesting all the same. As the girl thinks about what kind of style she wants, she thinks about the styles that her family and friends have, showing off the diverse array of creative styles that can be achieved.

The illustrations are clear and match the text nicely, highlighting and naming the various styles. Even readers who aren't familiar with the styles will be able to understand what the book is talking about thanks to the pictures. If there's one weakness that this book has, it's the text. It rhymes, but the rhythm and meter are pretty awful in a few spots. I wish authors who write picture books in rhyme would pay more attention to syllable counts; it would make the words flow so much more freely. (One of my favourite picture-book authors who did rhyming text really well was Anna Dewdney. Check out her Llama Llama titles for some great examples of rhyming text.)

While I didn't love the text itself, I still think the premise and illustrations are great. So I would recommend this one, but with a warning to parents: it's probably not going to be the easiest book to read out loud, especially if you're expecting a bouncy, regular rhythm for the rhyming text.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.14 out of 5

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