Category Archives: Books

Mixed Race Book Review: I Don’t Want Curly Hair!

Mixed Race Book Review I Don’t Want Curly Hair

With such lovely illustrations, it doesn’t get more easily relatable than Laura Ellen Anderson’s book, “I Don’t Want Curly Hair”.

For my middle daughter who is going through her own love-hate relationship with her coily locks, this has been an especially poignant book.

Written in delightful rhyme, a girl with curly red locks describes how she is exhausted with her curly hair, how she can never tame it, and spends hours and hours brushing, pulling and stretching it.

She happens upon another little girl with straight black hair in her journey and whose woe is the fact that her hair is “boring and straight and why won’t it curl?!”

“OH?!”, says the curly girl. How could she, with straight, smooth hair want curly hair??

The two girls laugh at how silly they’ve been realising that both their hair is special and that both can do amazing things with their hair.

After multiple readings, my daughter now knows enough of the words to read it her own way, getting into character, “I DON’T LIKE MY CURLY HAIR!! It’s MESSY AND SILLY AND JUST PLAIN UNFAIR!”

She loves the ways the girl tries desperately to straighten her hair, even managing to wet it completely so that it turns straight (a secret most curly girls are delighted about).

With delightful humour throughout, it’s a great book for getting the conversation going about loving the skin we’re in and showing our curly girls that they should love their hair no matter what.

For more mixed race book reviews, click here

book review i don't want curly hair

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Mixed Race Book Review: I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl

I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl by Betty K. Bynum is the newest in our series of mixed race book reviews.

At first glance, it appears that this book is not really for biracial or multiracial kids. But going with the one drop rule in American culture, the term ‘Black’ refers to all racial mixes who are part black.

The book’s illustrations are lovely.

Full of images of little girls doing what they love- playing, running, skipping, holding hands. Being who they want to be and loving who they are.

All the girls are different shades with different hair colours and textures. My girls love choosing which ones they think they look like. One girl has her hair in braids, one in ponytails, another with her curls out and proud and still another with straight black hair. All show the diversity of girls-whatever their racial background.

That’s why we read it as “I’m a Pretty Little Girl” and skip the ‘black’. Because it’s really about the diversity of girls, about being proud and loving each and every one regardless of difference.

The girls are depicted running, skipping, jumping, helping, singing and being artistic as it follows one girls’ day at school with her friends. Then it ends with each girl fulfilling a dream of what they want to be when they grow up- showing a diversity of choices available.

I can’t recommend it more. Even just for the images. It’s lovely.

Mixed Race Book Review: “My Two Grannies”

Mixed Race Book Review My Two Grannies

As part of our new mixed race book review series, I will be starting to review books featuring or highlighting mixed race or multiracial characters.

Today’s feature is the book : My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin– a favourite of mine and my daughters’.

There’s perhaps no-one more apt to write a children’s book than British children’s presenter Floella Benjamin, a black woman in an interracial relationship who has two mixed kids. She’s a household face and name to British 30 and 40 somethings who grew up with her face on their television sets and is today the Vice President of Barnardos Children’s Charity.

The story is about a little girl named Alvina whose parents are going away for the weekend. Alvina gets very excited that her two grannies, whom she loves with all her heart will be coming to take care of her.

But her grannies are from two very different places. Granny Vero is from Trinidad and Granny Rose is from England.

Both Grannies have very different taste in food, interests and things they like to do. And they soon begin to argue about how best to take care of Alvina. Alvina comes up with a way they can both work together and enjoy each other’s ideas, recipes and activities. In the end, they both both realise they can appreciate what the other brings and can even learn from each other! A celebration of the different parts of what makes Alvina who she is!

My Two Grannies is a lovely book for mixed heritage or mixed race children who have family members from different parts of the world or from different cultures. My two oldest daughters love the book because they can relate to having two grannies of different colours and from different cultures. It’s a great way to get them to celebrate diversity whilst engaging them in their own real-life experience of having two grannies hailing from different parts of the world.

We highly recommend My Two Grannies and love that it’s written by such  a well-known children’s presenter. So do consider it for your next purchase!

For more book reviews with mixed race characters, click here…

Mixed Race Book Review: Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match

Marisol McDonald Mixed Race Book Review

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown is the second in our mixed race book review series by Mixed.Up.Mama.

This is one my daughters’ favourites (and mine). Inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage, Monica Brown has won numerous awards and starred reviews for her Marisol series which, incidentally is also written in Spanish.

Marisol McDonald is a wonderful book about a Peruvian-American girl named Marisol who loves to be different. She loves to wear green polka dots and purple stripes, eats peanut butter and jelly burritos and tells her cousin off when he tries to tell her her skin colour (brown) does not match her red hair. Simply said, she loves who she is. When everyone, including her teacher, tells her she should match, she decides to change herself and the next day, she wears a matching outfit, plays pirates with her friends how they like it and writes her name in printed letters as her teacher says she should. But soon, she discovers how boring it is and how proud she is to be a mismatched Marisol.

The illustrations, done by Sara Palacios and the fact that it is written in Spanish beside the English are bonuses to the lovely story behind author Brown’s loveable character. For bilingual children as well as kids that come from more than one culture, this is a fantastic choice.

Another recommendation if you want your child to be proud of their mixed heritage!

For more mixed race book reviews, click here…

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