A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The text and illustrations show children the beauty and variety of African American hair types and styles, and the joy in having and caring for that hair.
Love yourself and celebrate yourself just as you are.
Positive Role Models
The illustrations feature Black children (mostly girls) and adults, with their hair shown in thick, black brushstrokes, surrounded by big, colorful circles that suggest halos and crowns. The text aims to take the stigma from the word "nappy" as well as from the hair type the word refers to.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Happy to be Nappy, by bell hooks and illustrated by Chris Raschka, encourages young children to be excited by African American hair and its possibilities. Its playful watercolor illustrations and handwritten text will engage children as they're read to. The original picture book edition was published in 1999, and this board book edition came out in 2017.
Is It Any Good?
This lighthearted board book with mystical elements is fun to read and will be fun to share with young children. One of several collaborations between writer bell hooks and illustrator Chris Raschka (the team that created Skin Again and Be Boy Buzz), Happy to Be Nappy shows Black children and their hair in a consistently glowing light. The authors take care to convey that African hair is beautiful, whether its cut close and tight or long and plaited. A charming detail that parents and children alike can appreciate: Look for the perturbed faces on the children getting their hair styled -- a scene that many people can relate to.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.