My colouring book has appeared on Amazon. It is a colouring book for little girls who might enjoy being looked after by Jada-Kai, Keysha and Ruby the STEM Lovin’ Baby-Sitters. Little girls will like seeing what the big girls get up to.
The baby-sitters appeared first in my book A Fairy in the Family Again. The book tried to make a point about careers in STEM in the beauty industry. There is along history of black women developing hair products.
Imagine working in science to make products you love. Our pal Mumbi has done just that. Girls are going to have STEM careers that we have not even imagined.
I have always loved long curly hair and as a teenager I used to draw girls with flowing tresses (we did not have he phrase “slayed tresses” in Ireland back then). My own hair is fine, uber-straight and incapable of holding any kind of curl or kink. So drawing curls was the closest I got. And photographing Barbies for BlackHair magazine.
But not everyone who is capable of curls wears their hair curly. There are plenty of reasons for that – which I won’t go into here – but part of it has to do with confidence.
If you think your child might be a naturalista who would like to wear their hair in a natural afro then a book featuring BIG HAIR might guide their journey. When kids are young it’s all about self-image and empowerment. And that’s where books come in. Some books are not specifically about hair but feature a character with a natural style. Most are in the 3 and upwards age-range.
So let’s go. Here is a list of the Top 15 best big hair books for children.
1.Big Hair Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates
Most of my book choices feature a child of African descent living outside of Africa and therefore surrounded by European hair. In this book a chirpy little girl faces that situation head on with her poem.
“I’ve got big hair and I don’t care And even though the kids may stare I lift my hands up in the air And smile and say… I love my hair”
I’m mentioning Crystal Swain-Bates again because she has made natural hair something of a cause. Let Amazon guide you to books like Naturally Me, Black Fairy Tales, SuperMommy and many others where the covers depict fabulous fulsome black hair
This book has a Jamaican little girl with Afro puffs on the cover. On the back cover the same girl in her contemporary clothes is seen slapping away happily on African drums. As part of the Irish diaspora I appreciate books that make other people feel at home in all the countries they identify with.
The companion The Alphabet with Bella has artwork of her taking part in what I think is the Notting Hill Carnival waving her British and Jamaican flags and wearing a glorious feather crown. Art is by Katlego Kgabale(Illustrator)
Check out the gorgeous mother in this book with her skinny jeans and natural fro. There is a sweet picture off the little girl sleeping with her hair in a silk scarf as she dreams of an exiting future visiting the Paris, Cuba and Africa. Daveia Odoi is the illustrator.
The author made up this bedtime story to give her daughter, Paris, pride in her hair. the little girl had noticed her hair was different from her schoolmates so mom stepped in! Tyrus Goshay is the Illustrator.
This is my only book with a boy on the cover. (I’ll fix that when I do my blog about books with locs and braids). Mike is always answering questions about being mixed. He knows he’s perfect because this is what his parents say:
Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light: “We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right.”
There was very little by way of a preview on Amazon so I hopped over to the author’s website – This small and carefully curated site is a delight , well worth a look. It has elegant, girlie art, three dancing bunny rabbits, prints for hanging and a colouring book. And Mechal ships to Europe.
My own book has a strong theme of natural hair. The lead character Bekki the Fairy has a crazy do (don’t ask) but the hairstyle you see most in the book is the loose natural style of Geeky Mikita the genius baby-sitter.
The stylist gave Mikita a grey streak in honour of Albert Einstein. There is a suggestion that scientists are too busy for nice hair and Bekki offers to fix Mikita’s hair. This is just Bekki being tactless – and it’s kind of an in-joke as we’ve worked with this model since she was a little gal with big hair.
At the back of the book a real life scientist, Mumbi, talked about black hair and gave all the baby-sitters hair advice. There are jobs for female scientists in the hair industry. Black women entrepreneurs played big role in the products we have today. In amongst all the silly scenes in my book is sneaky positive message!
This book really is ‘last but not least’. Urbantoons started following me on Instagram just as I was finishing up this blog. I’m happy he did! He hails from Mali and has wonderful items (dashikis and hi-tops!) on his website celebrating ethnicity, identity and the spread of multiculturalism.