Published by Lantana Publishing, 2019.
Mira hates her curly hair. The images around her – magazine covers and photos – all show women with sleek, straight hair. Even her own mother’s hair is long and smooth.
She tries everything she can think of to stop it curling, from pulling it down to balancing heavy books on her head. She even enlists the help of a lion tamer from her toy box but nothing can control her curls.
It’s only when she and her mom get caught in the rain that Mira recognises the true beauty of natural hair.
The book is set in Dubai and has the city’s beautiful buildings, old and new, as a backdrop. The vibrant illustrations which show palm trees, areesh shelters and people in traditional dress are richly evocative of the city.
The plot is a very simple one but the book’s message of self-acceptance is incredibly powerful.
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Lantana Publishing for sending me this book to review.
A note about diversity in children’s publishing
The UK has a diverse population yet this diversity is not reflected in the books that are published. The Department for Education reported in 2017 that 32.1% of pupils of compulsory school age in England were of minority ethnic origins. A 2018 study by the CLPE reveals that of the children’s books published in 2017 only 1% had a BAME main character (read the full report here).
It’s so important for all children to see themselves in the books they read. This is the ethos of the independent publishing house, Lantana Publishing, and it is reflected in the books they publish.