I am very happy to say that my first ever guest blogger is going to be Raffi from “Made by Raffi”, a book by Craig Pomeranz.
Craig Pomeranz is a cabaret singer who has written a charming story about a little boy who loves to knit. When I first heard about Craig I was pretty envious. He is published by Frances Lincoln who do the Amazing Grace books. And his book is illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain who did the loveable artwork for My Two Grannies. What’s so special about this guy, I wondered.
Plenty, it turns out. Craig has a lot to say about what in means to be a boy or girl in these modern times. His book has a light touch but makes powerful points about identity, gender-roles, love and encouragement. You’ll see what I mean when the blog comes in.
Craig is a good sport and is going to let my character Bekki the Fairy interview his character Raffi. It should be fun and there might even be music!
So, can a girl get a job in science that she might actually enjoy? Uh, yeah!!! Mumbi Dunjwa has a very cool life.
Mumbi’s family come fromKenya and she lives in the US. She is a scientist and has spent a lot of time in the lab developing products for black hair.
Here is what she has to say about her company Naturaz :
“Our passion is to get you to love, handle and wear your beautiful natural hair, regardless of type, with ease, beauty and grace”
STEM and girls
As you might know lots of girls are great at maths and science when they are in school but not enough girls are making a career out of science. We are delighted to have Mumbi in our book showing how someone can have a cool career in the beauty industry using their science skills.
Mumbi had nice things to say about ‘A Fairy in the Family Again’:
“It would be great to contribute to your book and subsequently to inspire young black girls to not only pursue science but to love their hair.”
All the baby-sitters in the book have different hairstyles. They are schoolgirls so we couldn’t go too crazy with the styles. Mumbi talks about braids, extensions and relaxers and how to care for your hair.
Shea Moisture recently upset some of their core users by featuring a red-haired white model in their advertising.
Some users were upset, not only because Shea Moisture seemed to be suggesting that red and afro hair were similar in how they led to discrimination, but also because they were supposedly reformulating their products.
Geeky Mikita responded to the story by getting into the lab and mixing up her own products.
This is not to make light of the situation or hurt feelings but to remind girls that they are not at the mercy of big companies. Many people went online to share the names of lesser known, much-loved black-owned companies.
Response from Shea Moisture
Melissa from BlackHairOMG gave the Shea Moisture CEO, Rich Dennis, a chance to have his say and try and put things right. Her feature is here:
My fairy books are available in English and Irish. Most kids in Ireland are studying Irish and dual language books can be very useful.
Reading a whole book in Irish is an achievement to be proud of. Here is some advice on using dual language books.
One suggestion is to pre-read the book in English and then switch to Irish the following day. The idea is that the memory of the story will be fresh in your child’s mind and they will be able to make a good guess at any unfamiliar words.
Another idea is to read the Irish book with your child, stopping when you come to any unfamiliar words. Of course you will have the translations to hand or a copy of the English book that you can consult but not your child.
You want your child to make their best guess at the meaning of the Irish words. Most children love attention and will do their best to puzzle out what the book is saying when you are there to encourage them.
Find a family member who can read aloud in Irish. Ask them to go into your child’s school to read the book. That gives a strong message about how important and valued Irish is to the family. I find that book reading followed by arts and crafts makes for a very pleasant school visit.