Year Published: 1998
Written by: Natasha Tarpley
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Every night before she goes to bed, Keyana sits down between her mother’s knees to have her hair combed. But no matter how gently Mama pulls, it still hurts sometimes! Keyana doesn’t feel lucky to have such a head of hair, but Mama says she is because she can wear it any way she chooses. “I can spin your hair into a fine, soft yarn, just like our grandmothers did at their spinning wheels,” she tells her. “Or I can part your hair into strait lines and plant rows of braids along your scalp, the way we plant seeds in our garden.” Soon Keyana, too, finds reasons to love her hair, and she wears it any way she chooses with pride.
American Library Association
“As always, Lewis’ watercolors are masterful, showing the child as part of a lively community, warm in her mother’s embrace at home, her curls as thick as a forest or like a vine winding upward to reach the sky.”
“Lewis’s imaginative and warm interpretations of these exchanges as well as the inclusion of bits of African-American cultural history expand the personal content.”
Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies for 1999