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Happy to Be Nappy (Jump at the Sun) Hardcover – January 1, 1900


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 40L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jump at the Sun
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Jump At The Sun; 1 edition (January 1, 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786804270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786804276
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Renowned feminist and social critic bell hooks takes on... hair! "Hair for hands to touch and play! Hair to take the gloom away." This rhythmic read-aloud is, on the surface, all about hair: nappy, plaited, long, short, natural, twisted, "soft like cotton, flower petal billowy soft, full of frizz and fuzz." Comb through the surface and find a celebration of childhood and girls and the freedom to express individuality. The rituals implied in the book are rooted in the traditions of hooks's own childhood, when "doing" hair was just as much an excuse for girls to laugh and tell stories and just be together. Going still deeper is the much-needed message encouraging girls to love and accept themselves (and others) just the way they are.

In bell hooks's first venture into children's books, she wisely teams up with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Chris Raschka (Yo! Yes?, Mysterious Thelonious). Raschka's bold paint strokes on a color wash background are strikingly original--a perfect match for the exuberant text. This beautiful picture book will surely make any reader, young or old, happy to be nappy--and anyone who raved or ranted over Carolivia Herron and illustrator Joe Cepeda's Nappy Hair will welcome this joyful, celebratory book. (Click to see a sample spread. Text copyright 1999 by bell hooks. Illustrations copyright 1999 by Chris Raschka. With permission of Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children.) (Ages 3 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

This joyous ode to hair may well restart conversations that began last year with the controversy over Carolivia Herron's Nappy Hair. Bubbling over with affection, and injecting a strong self-esteem boost for girls, hooks's ebullient, poetic text celebrates the innate beauty and freedom of hair that's "soft like cotton,/ flower petal billowy soft, full of frizz and fuzz." Waxing poetic about "short tight naps" or "plaited strands all," hooks conjures all the lovely varieties of hairstyles that "let girls go running free." She sings the praises of "girlpie hair," subtly reinforcing her theme with a chorus of descriptive words like "halo" and "crown." She also evokes the intimate warmth of mother-daughter timeA"sitting still for hands to brush or braid and make the day start hopefully." A powerful, uplifting and, above all, buoyantly fun read-aloud, the text receives a superb visual interpretation by Raschka (Like Likes Like). A master of minimalism, he works here in nuanced, impressionistic watercolors and suggests his subjects with a quick stroke of the brush here, a graceful sweep of line there. Bolstering the theme of individuality, he provides softly shaded washes of varying hue that set off the dazzling array of hairstyles like an aura and create a rhythmic flow of color across the pages. Broad swoops conjure curls and braids, quick stripes of colors make barrettes, and tiny dots create beads. Though clearly of particular interest to African-American girls, the infectious energy and spirit of this volume will appeal to all readers. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's 100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life, she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks is now a Distinguished Professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of more than seventeen books, including All About Love: New Visions; Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work; Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life; Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood; Killing Rage: Ending Racism; Art on My Mind: Visual Politics; and Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
My daughter (18 mos. old) loves this story!
Rachel M. Barnes
Great book showing the great variety of hair types and style among beautifully painted brown-skinned girls in bold watercolor.
Sim_Sun
The little girls depicted are healthy, and love themselves and the way they look.
Beatrice Izzey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "gcmotley" on November 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I loved the content and what the book covered on the positive issues that some African Americans have about hair. However I did not care much for the illustrations which to me do not relay a very positive image of African Americans. I wanted to be able to actually see a face not a water color.I thought the use of Girl Pie was such a wonderful endurement that should make all little girls feel loved and cherished. I read this book to my 13 month old grandaughter all the time
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a very cute book. The water colors (no what that other chick said) are nice. Thats one of the things that make this book special and unique. I happen to have met "Bell Hooks" before and she is a very nice very brilliant lady (if your reading this Miss. hooks, i was in the school library with DJ) I love her style of writing and the book itself serves as an important reminder to all girls black and white. They should always learn to love themselves as they are no matter what any other people say. this book is great for all girls young and old. Im 14 and i love it! My opinion is buy it. It'll bring a smile to your face. A lot of her other books are good too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "connoramazon" on May 27, 2004
Format: Board book
My one-year-old son LOVES this book. He hasn't grown into the words quite yet, but he's fascinated by the pictures.
The board book is especially good. It's much bigger than many board books, and my son can pull it out and turn back and forth among the pages on his own. He'll open it to a page and just stare at it for a few minutes, touching the pictures, then pull it open to another random page.
I think it's important for white kids to have books that don't just show them more white kids... and this one has glorious pictures. Lots of bold iamges on spacsious pages, visually very interesting for a baby.
I can't wait until he's old enough to sit still for having it read to him, but for now he's so excited that he can do it on his own with this book, he's too impatient to let me turn the pages.
Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nom de plume on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
this book is a must have
the illustrations are **absolutly beautiful**. they accentuate the happy playfulness of the book and are so well done that they can appeal to adults and children alike.
the book is a nice break from the usual children's book roles of african-american characters. here blackness is not defined by its relationships to other races, but just by its beauty.
it is simply a really fun book to read aloud to kids.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rachel M. Barnes on March 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My daughter (18 mos. old) loves this story! We read it every night before she goes to sleep, at her request. I often use the text to play with her hair as we read, which she also seems to enjoy enough that now all I have to do is recite the book from memory to get her to sit still long enough to put in pig tails. I really like that each of the illustrations has a different skin tone- it's an important detail that could have been easily overlooked by a less inspired artist.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The first time I saw this book I knew I wanted to add this to my collection right away.I thought this book was very charming and heart warming. The watercolor paintings are so nice and warm.(they just make you feel real good) My children loved this book and it will always be one of personal favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Izzey VINE VOICE on March 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The little girls depicted are healthy, and love themselves and the way they look. I like the abstract art, and non-idealized images of real kids with real hair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. reynolds on October 29, 2007
Format: Board book
It's a great book. Esp for dealing with the huge issue of hair later on- what a great way to bulid self esteem about hair/color/being a girl. I like that it does all of this in a matter-of-fact way. No big preachy stuff. My daughter loves it and so do I.
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