Brown-skinned, curly-haired Mira is delighted to watch her mother transition from straight hair to curly hair in this European import set in the Emirates.
Mira doesn’t like her curly hair. “She wanted it to be straight and smooth, just like her Mama’s.” She tries hair tools and poses and flattening it out with books, but her hair still curls all over. One day, Mira and her mama get caught outside in the rain. As they wait for the rain to clear, Mira notices something happening to Mama’s hair. “Up and up! It kept on curling! It wouldn’t stop!” Mira thinks her mama’s hair “looks beautiful and free, curling everywhere!” From then on, both Mira and her mama wear curls every day. In the final, triumphant spread, the curly-haired duo rides a tandem bicycle by the sea. Although it’s hard to imagine why Mira has never seen her mama’s hair in its natural state before, this simple story does a lovely job weaving in various cultural realities with a universal theme of self-acceptance. The artwork, in acrylics completed digitally, uses bright, nearly fantastical colors and images—a red sky, hair tools that include toy soldiers, brightly patterned birds surrounding Mama’s curly hair. Palm trees, Islamic architecture, and traditionally dressed passers-by line the streets.
This volume adds depth and beauty to the growing collection of hair-themed picture books for the very young. (Picture book. 3-7)