Book Review: Mira’s Curly Hair
Mira’s Curly Hair
Written by Maryam Al Serkal
Illustrated by Rebeca Luciani
Published by Lantana Publishing
Publication date: 11th April 2019
Summary (from Goodreads):
Mira doesn’t like her hair. It curls at the front. It curls at the back. It curls everywhere! She wants it to be straight and smooth, just like her Mama’s. But then something unpredictable happens . . . and Mira will never look at her mama’s hair the same way again! A delightful celebration of natural hair and the courage it takes to be yourself.
Mira had very curly hair. It curled at the front. It curled at the back.
It curled everywhere!
Mira didn’t like her hair.
She wanted it to be straight and smooth, just like her Mama’s.
I was excited to read this from the moment I tore open the packaging to see the bright colours bursting off the front cover.I fell in love with Mir straightaway, because there is just so much personality in how she is drawn.
Mira doesn’t like her hair, because it does exactly what it wants all the time…and nothing she does seems to make any difference. She tires pulling it down, standing on her hands, pushing it down…everything! It still just curls everywhere and looks nothing like her mother’s beautiful hair, which is straight and smooth. Until, one day, when they go walking in the rain and Mira discovers that her mother’s hair can be wild, curly and free too!
I loved how the setting was evoked so powerfully in just a few well-chosen words and the illustrations, s well as Mira’s mother listening to her daughter and choosing to embrace their natural hair rather than continuing to spend time making it straight and smooth.
This book felt like such a breath of fresh air, from the positive message to the fact that the main character is not a blonde, blue-eyed princess.
A beautiful book about acceptance and freedom – add it to your library now!
What I liked: Gorgeous, vibrant illustrations. They really gave me such a sense of place and made me want to find out more! I loved the positive message about accepting yourself as you are and how both Mira’s and her mother’s hair seems to reflect how they are feeling.
Even better if: There is not a thing that I would change!
How you could use it in your classroom: This would be a great book to read aloud, as the focus of a focused reading session or simply as an addition to your reading corner. Every child deserves to see themselves in the books they read and I think that every effort should be made to ensure that the reading material we are providing for children reflects the diversity of our world. I would love to use this as a springboard for discussion about standards of beauty – there is a lot of scope here for both younger and older children, as well as adults.
What did other bloggers think?
Vibrant artwork that is full of detail, colourful clothing and striking Arabic architecture fills every page, creating a rich, warm backdrop to the rhythmic text. This delightful tale, featuring black and minority ethnic (BAME) characters, celebrates diversity and self-acceptance’ – BookTrust
‘I loved this humorous but heart-warming story about embracing your natural beauty and being proud to be yourself‘– Library Girl & Book Boy
Rachel @ Get Kids into Books says:
“The plot is a very simple one but the book’s message of self-acceptance is incredibly powerful.”
@ The Book Activist says:
“Delightful to share, this story will encourage young readers to celebrate their uniqueness!”
I just wanted to include a note here, about the publishers, because I couldn’t agree more with their message (see above):
We are Lantana: a young, independent publishing house that gives new, aspiring and award-winning Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic authors and illustrators a platform to publish.
We’re living in a country where almost a third of our school children identify as BAME yet fewer than 5% of all published children’s books feature BAME characters.
We don’t think this is right or fair. At Lantana, we’re changing the game and publishing books where children of colour are the stars.
I am proud to support this publisher of diverse books and I cannot wait to see what else they come out with!
While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of A Different Pond, London Hat Hunting Mission, A Fish in Foreign Waters, Ten Cents a Pound, The Day War Came, Violet, Dragon Dancer, Stardust, My First Book of Gymnastics or Welcome to Our World?
Thanks for reading!