Books by Kelly A. Tinkham

HAIR FOR MAMA by Kelly A. Tinkham
Released: May 1, 2007

A realistic look at a strong family facing cancer. "Hair has always been important to us Carters," says Marcus, and each family member has a specific hairstyle for annual picture day. Mama usually "loops and gathers her braids together like a beautiful black crown." But this year, things are different: Mama has cancer, and treatment has taken her hair away. Marcus offers her costume wigs in a store, but she declines. Conflating the hair loss (and Mama's plan to skip picture day) with the unbearable possibility of Mama dying, Marcus takes action. At the barber shop, he gets all his hair shaved, planning to take it home for Mama to use. When the barber inadvertently discards it, Marcus breaks down sobbing, but his rock-steady parents are there. Mama agrees to pictures while wearing a gele (headwrap), and her future—while not certain—looks hopeful. Regrettably, the specific hairstyles—Marcus's fade and his sister's braids and beads, for example—are visually indistinct. However, Bates's tender watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are warm in color and feeling, matching the depth of emotions perfectly. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >