Hair Love
Hair Love
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Annotation: A little girl's daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.
Catalog Number: #184186
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Harrison, Vashti,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-525-55336-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-525-55336-6
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
In this endearing take on stories pertaining to promoting natural hairstyles for African American children, Cherry and Harrison create an unforgettable picture book about the bond between an African American father and his daughter. Readers will love the positive language used to describe kinks, coils, braids, twists, and Afro puffs as stylish and regal looks fit for royalty. The illustrations meld perfectly with the story as the illustrious depictions help explain the wonders of hair growth, shrinkage, moisturizing, and styling Black hair. It also features a young, hip dad with beautiful tattoos and his own hair styled in long dreads. The father and daughter's tender interactions are heartwarming to observe and will easily become a favorite among families. Written and illustrated in a style similar to Natasha Anastasia Tarpley's I Love My Hair! (1998), Cherry and Harrison's book provides an engaging and lovable story for younger audiences. Parents, children, caregivers, teachers, and librarians will find this story to be the right fit for their bookshelves.
Kirkus Reviews
A black girl helps her dad learn how to give her the perfect hairstyle for a very special day.Zuri's voluminous head of hair "has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way." She is pictured asleep with a large Afro framing her face. She is proud of her hair, which she sometimes wears in braids with beads like a princess and other times in pigtail puffs. But today is a special day. She knows Daddy is "worn-out" and probably needs a break, so she lets him sleep in while she looks up hairstyles on a tablet. When Daddy wakes and offers to help, he tries a series of hairstyles that just don't work. Finally, Zuri grabs some hair supplies and shows him a tutorial. "Watching carefully… / Daddy combed, / parted, oiled, and twisted. / He nailed it!" Zuri is lovely and happy with her freshly done hairstyle, and when Mommy arrives to their "Welcome Home" sign, she loves Zuri's look too. The digital illustrations feature details that feel just right: Zuri's thick, textured hair, Daddy's locs and tattoo, and dark-skinned Mom's bright headwrap. While it's unclear where Mommy is returning from (she is dressed casually and has a rolling black suitcase), this authentic depiction of a loving and whole black family broadens the scope of representation.Positively refreshing. (Picture book. 4-9)
Publishers Weekly
Based on Cherry-s animated short film of the same title, this picture book about a black girl and her hair pairs the first-time children-s book author and Harrison, an author, illustrator, and filmmaker. Zuri is proud of her hair, which -kinks, coils, and curls every which way.- But she needs a spectacular coif on a special day. Her devoted father tackles the task, gamely noting that it will be -a piece of cake.- Harrison-s emotionally charged digital images of Zuri-s reactions match the exasperated girl-s spot-on utterances: when he desperately pulls a woolen hat over her head, she urges, -We can do better than that--and they do. With Zuri-s encouragement, her stylist nails it, fashioning -funky puff buns- just in time for a rewarding apogee: Mommy-s return home. A bighearted ode to individuality and father-daughter collaboration. Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 3 Zuri wakes up on a very special day and needs a perfect hairstyle. The young black girl thinks of the wondrous things her hair can do and how it reflects her personality: "I love that my hair lets me be me!" Full-page spreads alternate with smaller sequential art as Zuri imagines herself a regal princess with beaded braids and a superhero with Afro puffs. When it comes time for the unidentified event, Zuri needs all the hair help she can get; luckily, Daddy is right by her side. With a comb and video tutorials in hand, he tries a number of styles to no avail; they just aren't special enough! Finally, the pair land the perfect look, and Zuri feels more ready than ever for her special eventher mother's long-awaited return. Cherry has crafted a celebration of black hair and family that will connect with many. Young readers may be all too familiar with Zuri's longing and excitement for a loved one to come home. Harrison's charming digital renderings thrive both in their detail and in the abstract, from the typical kid detritus piled under Zuri's bed to the dreamy pastel backgrounds. The characters' vivacity leaps off the page with sweetness and gentle humor; Zuri's unimpressed expressions will guarantee laughs during read-alouds. Mommy's headwrap and Daddy's locs may be an introduction, or a welcome moment of familiarity, for a variety of readers. VERDICT A wonderful slice-of-life tale about family support, black hair, and embracing individuality. Highly recommended for picture book collections. Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/19)
ALA Booklist (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 445
Reading Level: 2.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 503555 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD480L
Guided Reading Level: J
Fountas & Pinnell: J

"I love that Hair Love is highlighting the relationship between a Black father and daughter. Matthew leads the ranks of new creatives who are telling unique stories of the Black experience. We need this."
     - Jordan Peele, Actor & Filmmaker

It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters, from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison.


Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it's beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her -- and her hair -- happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair -- and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.


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