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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Filled with images of the many styles worn by African Americans, Happy to Be Nappy is a lovely jaunt into the world of hair. It rejoices in freedom, accepting yourself, the beauty of nappy locks, mother-daughter rituals, and awaiting the day with optimism.
Author bell hooks and illustrator Chris Raschka introduce toddlers to all the wonders their hair holds. Hooks uses delightful imagery to describe the many styles of nappy hair. Hair that is"soft like cotton," that creates "a halo of a crown." Girls are encouraged to let their hair move them, inspiring joy and laughter: "Hair to take the gloom away," as hooks beautifully says. This flowing language is matched with Chris Raschka's gorgeous watercolors. Heads are surrounded by loose swatches of color that frame the beauty of that nappy hair. Fluid lines create a sense of whimsy and joy. Raschka creates a wealth of expressions on the little girls' faces with a few simple strokes of his brush, making them appear deceptively simple. One delightful scene shows a mom carefully arranging her little one's hair as the girl sits very still.
This splendid, celebratory board book will inspire readers of all races and colors to enjoy their unique traits, share them with world, and appreciate the diversity of others. (Amy Barkat)