cover image Hair Love

Hair Love

Matthew A. Cherry, illus. by Vashti Harrison. Kokila, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-55336-6

Based on Cherry’s animated short film of the same title, this picture book about a black girl and her hair pairs the first-time children’s book author and Harrison, an author, illustrator, and filmmaker. Zuri is proud of her hair, which “kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” But she needs a spectacular coif on a special day. Her devoted father tackles the task, gamely noting that it will be “a piece of cake.” Harrison’s emotionally charged digital images of Zuri’s reactions match the exasperated girl’s spot-on utterances: when he desperately pulls a woolen hat over her head, she urges, “We can do better than that”—and they do. With Zuri’s encouragement, her stylist nails it, fashioning “funky puff buns” just in time for a rewarding apogee: Mommy’s return home. A bighearted ode to individuality and father-daughter collaboration. Ages 4–8. [em](May) [/em]