by Cozbi A. Cabrera:
This book tells the story of a young dark skinned girl named Mackenzie and her journey to loving and caring for her hair. Her hair is thicker than her mothers, and for that her mom doesn’t know how to care for it, often leaving Mackenzie’s hair undone. One day at school, a of couple kids make fun of her hair not being done, so Mackenzie seeks comfort and guidance from her dark-skinned neighbor, a woman named Ms. Tilly. Ms. Tilly helps Mackenzie to learn how to take care of her hair as well as teaches her that her hair is just like her garden, in need of time and care in order to flourish into something healthy and beautiful. White families can use this book to develop an understanding of the importance of hair to Black girls and women. This is a great story to show how much deeper loving their hair goes than just style or appearance.
Using this book as an educational tool:
Discuss with your child how they think Mackenzie felt throughout this story. Asking them questions about Mackenzies feelings, what made her feel that way, and how her perspective might have changed over the course of the story, can help to build empathy and awareness. Mackenzie's story can help teach children to appreciate not only themselves, but the beauty in those around them as well—no matter how similar or different they may seem.