Bound To Stay Bound

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 Good hair day
 Author: Trimmer, Christian

 Publisher:  Abrams Books for Young Readers (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [33] p., col. ill., 26 cm

 BTSB No: 890671 ISBN: 9781419745881
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Hair -- Fiction
 Gender role -- Fiction
 Self-confidence -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

Noah dreams of having long hair so he can look fabulous and when his birthday finally arrives, a gift from his parents gives him a pleasant surprise.

 Illustrator: Yang, J

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (10/27/23)
   Booklist (05/15/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 05/15/2023 Noah's birthday is coming up, and there's one gift he wants more than anything else: long, beautiful, wavy hair. A gorgeous double-page spread shows Noah imagining the glory with exaggerated locks streaming into every corner of the page. His hair is short, of course, in keeping with society's expectations of boys and men, and it's a sense of shame that prevents him from asking to grow it out. When he heads to his birthday haircut, he feels forced to let the barber trim him down to scalp-short, and while—for now—he doesn't get the hair of his dreams, his birthday is rescued by the next best thing: a long, beautiful, wavy wig. Noah's sweet story is a tidy example of how natural desires of self-expression are squashed by the arbitrary rules and roles of our toxic gender binary. Kids will have zero problem relating, and adults may find themselves unexpectedly moved, too, by the undeniable truths on display. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/27/2023 PreS-Gr 3—When it comes to certain desired birthday presents, Noah is assertive and communicative. But regarding his actual birthday wish (a head of long, wavy hair), he is less sure of how to verbalize his needs. Noah imagines what life would look like with the coif he pines for: An undulating mane that could unlock adventures, magic, and joy. Will Noah find the words to tell his family what he truly longs for? Yang depicts Noah's imagined curls roaming around and through pages, moving as if though underwater, giving Noah's indigo and jewel-toned daydreams a tranquil, yet majestic quality. Noah's facial expression on the last page, one of pure joy and self-realization, is another artistic triumph. An affirming, supportive community sets The Good Hair Day apart from the growing number of picture books regarding gender presentation and expression. Whereas other protagonists have been met with some form of cruelty and ignorance from their fictional caregivers and classmates, Noah is presented only with understanding and tenderness. With black hair and tan skin like most of his family, Noah has an inner dialogue regarding his prospective tresses, where he vaguely remembers an unkind statement said about men with long hair; this is by far the harshest scenario presented and very realistic. The back matter provides gentle and clear conversation starters which will prove indispensable for educators and families seeking vocabulary to use when discussing gender, identity, and self-expression. VERDICT A necessary and vital purchase for all collections that serve elementary school communities.—Ingrid Conley-Abrams - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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