A co-worker of mine shared a book with me that her friend’s niece, Aprill Hogue, wrote and illustrated.
“This is the tale of a curly-haired girl named Margret, who did not fit in her own little world … Poor Margret hated her hair, and she thought that her world was quite unfair. Why must she be so different from everyone else, with hair so strange–she doubted herself. Join Margret as she soon learns to see, that she is unique, and quite special indeed.”
It’s independently published and I ordered it from the website. Shipping was quick and I ordered it in Chloe’s name. When it arrived in the mail, I told Chloe she had a package. She said, “From who Mama?” I told her I didn’t know. When she opened it, saw a brown girl with wild hair and read the title, “Margret’s Mane,”she exclaimed, “Ms. Shelli sent this to me!” I just laughed and said ok.
A little background as to why this book is special to me and my child. Chloe was born with a head full of almost black hair and it just grew and grew and curled and curled.
Her hair always drew attention from others, especially when she wore it out. People would stop me to want to touch her hair (hell no). They wanted to know what I used on her hair, was she mixed and on and on!
It wasn’t until Chloe started public school that she began to pay attention to the differences in all of the kids. Three years ago, we moved to a diverse community and she has friends from all ethnicities. One of her closest friends is Emily, who has straight blonde hair with a bang. One day, Chloe came home asking for a bang … what? Cutting a female’s hair in the AA community is like a bridge from little girl to big girl – like middle school! Shoot, I was in the 9th grade before I got my first style with a cut! Her dad wasn’t cool with the idea. He wanted his little girl to stay a little girl as long as possible. Even though I wasn’t comfortable with it, I did accept and had to explain to him that other ethnic groups cut their little girls’ hair early (little bobs and bangs) and Chloe was just asking for what seems to be the norm to her. Even with this acceptance … she wasn’t getting a bang *lol*.
I talked to her during one of our hair sessions and I explained to her that God gave her curly hair and her curly hair did not want to be made to do the same thing day in and day out. If she got a bang, it would end up being a big bushy mustache on her forehead and wouldn’t look like Emily’s bang, because she had curly hair that wanted to curl, not be straight. She thought about it and then bust out laughing and said, “Ok Mama … A mustache … bwahaaa!”
Chloe first read Margret’s Mane at her after-care program with one of her teachers who is white and likes to “fix” Chloe’s hair in the evening. Oh, and Chloe brushes and styles her hair as well … lol. She was so excited, she said, “Mama, Margret has wild hair just like mine and it makes her unique like me!”
She went on to tell me all about the book and how her friends were nicer than Margret’s friends because her friends never teased her. The kids in her classroom (mostly the boys), smell her hair to see what scent it is … Organix Coconut Milk, BeeMine Island Mango, or Karen’s Body Beautiful Vanilla Latte!! *lol*
Long review short, if you want to add a book for curly kids that speaks to the uniqueness of their curls, then order Margret’s Mane by April Hogue at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/adh_books.