Happy to Be Nappy

Happy to Be Nappy

4.0 1
by Bell Hooks, Chris Meyers

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Acclaimed African-American author and poet bell hooks joins forces with illustrator Chris Raschka to celebrate the joy and beauty of nappy hair, in this exuberant, rhythmic, read-aloud book. See more details below

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Acclaimed African-American author and poet bell hooks joins forces with illustrator Chris Raschka to celebrate the joy and beauty of nappy hair, in this exuberant, rhythmic, read-aloud book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This joyous ode to hair may well restart conversations that began last year with the controversy over Carolivia Herron's Nappy Hair. Bubbling over with affection, and injecting a strong self-esteem boost for girls, hooks's ebullient, poetic text celebrates the innate beauty and freedom of hair that's "soft like cotton,/ flower petal billowy soft, full of frizz and fuzz." Waxing poetic about "short tight naps" or "plaited strands all," hooks conjures all the lovely varieties of hairstyles that "let girls go running free." She sings the praises of "girlpie hair," subtly reinforcing her theme with a chorus of descriptive words like "halo" and "crown." She also evokes the intimate warmth of mother-daughter time--"sitting still for hands to brush or braid and make the day start hopefully." A powerful, uplifting and, above all, buoyantly fun read-aloud, the text receives a superb visual interpretation by Raschka (Like Likes Like). A master of minimalism, he works here in nuanced, impressionistic watercolors and suggests his subjects with a quick stroke of the brush here, a graceful sweep of line there. Bolstering the theme of individuality, he provides softly shaded washes of varying hue that set off the dazzling array of hairstyles like an aura and create a rhythmic flow of color across the pages. Broad swoops conjure curls and braids, quick stripes of colors make barrettes, and tiny dots create beads. Though clearly of particular interest to African-American girls, the infectious energy and spirit of this volume will appeal to all readers. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A short, rhythmic tribute to little girls with "nappy" locks. "Girlpie hair smells clean/and sweet/is soft like cotton,/flower petal billowy soft,/full of frizz and fuzz." Raschka's illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the brief, handwritten cursive text. They bring out the spirit behind hooks's writing and have great child appeal. With only watercolor-washed squares as background, the whimsical figures dance and caper. Reduced to the simplest childlike element, they nevertheless convey emotion and movement with the curve of a mouth or the jut of a hip. Using broad brush strokes, the artist creates fantastic hair that curls, whirls, and flows across the page or flips and piles over heads. This title is sure to invite comparisons to Carolivia Herron's Nappy Hair (Knopf, 1997). Hooks's text is gentler, a single, almost dreamy, literary voice. It is less personal than the lively call-and-response device found in Herron's book, which is full of the loving, yet pointed teasing of a large, close-knit family. Both authors, in their different ways, have written joyous celebrations that give hair a life of its own and encourage self-acceptance.-Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Barbara Aria
In Happy to Be Nappy, hooks gives girls a sense of wild freedom. With loopy words and flying rhythms, she tells girls that they're beautiful just the way they are, arms them with a sense of their own tremendous energy, shows them the pleasures of loving themselves and one another, and lets them revel in running and playing while the wind carries their hair all over the place.

Time Out New York

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Product Details

Publication date:
Jump at the Sun Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
9.37(w) x 10.87(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 5 Years

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