This poetic picture book is not altogether successful in its attempt to illustrate the theme of being different while being oneself. Sudan is a young black boy with hair kept in dreadlocks--here called ""enchanted hair"" (""It giggled when he talked and roared when he walked and often sprouted wings""). Sudan's problem is that no one sees his hair as enchanted, but merely as unsightly. He runs away one day and comes across a circus with performers who all wear their hair in dreadlocks. They welcome him as one of them for an afternoon; then one of them, Miss Pearl, his mother's friend, takes him home and tells him to be himself, since ""ugly words will never harm you."" It's never made clear why wearing hair in dreads makes the hair enchanted; and the imagery of lions and lagoons in the hair is obscure, although it is obvious that it is meant to evoke Africa. The illustrations, however, evoke Sudan's family and his circus friends well. Well-meaning and harmless, but not an outstanding contribution.