A little girl learns to love and care for her hair.
Mack, young and black, does not love her hair. As a result of teasing, she tries to hide it. But Mack does love her neighbor Miss Tillie. Miss Tillie’s house has been a safe space since Mack was a toddler. So, naturally, Mack seeks refuge in Miss Tillie after being bullied by a classmate who states as fact that “Mack’s hair is always a mess.” West Indian Miss Tillie gives Mack a glass of sorrel and listens as Mack tells her about the long-term mockery she’s endured about her hair. Though dark-skinned Mack’s mother also appears to be black, she doesn’t know how to care for her daughter’s hair, and Mack asks Miss Tillie for help. Miss Tillie teaches Mack that her hair is like a garden: “And like every good garden, it must be cared for, every day.” The folk art–style illustrations lend this story an anytime, anyplace quality that leaves readers free to focus on the content. Although the text placement and type may occasionally distract, the illustrations evoke emotion, and endpapers showing different hairstyles on black girls of varying hues are especially well-done.
How needed, how refreshing to see a black girl learn to appreciate herself—lovely and informative. (caring for black hair, recipes) (Picture book. 5-9)