Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Title: I Love My Hair!
Author: Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
Reading Level: Grades K-2
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 

Interested in finding out more about I Love My Hair!
purchase it HERE!
 Click here to learn more about the talented Natasha Anastasia Tarpley!

I Love My Hair! is a children’s picture book that tells a spectacular story of young African American girl named Keyana that embraces her heritage and culture. Throughout the book, Keyana describes the many ways she can style her hair.  For instance, her mother explains that she can spin her hair in a spinning wheel like their grandmothers did. Ultimately, her hair defines who she is as a proud individual of her culture and as young girl that simply adores her hair.

Element #1: Self-Love and Knowledge:
I Love My Hair! tells a compelling story of young African American named Keyana. Throughout the story, she learns that her hair is beautiful and that she is lucky to have it. Her mother comforts her and brushes her hair at night and explains to her that she can style it anyway she chooses. Keyana embraces her beautiful locks and loves the diversity of her hair. She is reminded of her African American roots by her mother and teacher and is proud of her heritage, but even more so her hair. This children's book by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley is a perfect representation of Element #1: Self-Love and Knowledge because Keyana is learning about the diversity of her hair, but also her culture. She embraces her differences that make her beautiful and loves her hair for those precise reasons. 

Implementation into the Classroom: 
This children’s book is ideal for students to learn about different countries and the cultures of their peers. I Love My Hair! showcases that everyone is different and that they should love who and what they represent—whole-heartedly. All students have different background knowledge and come to school with different experiences, but this is what makes teaching and learning so incredible. These differences allow for discussion and interest to grow for one another in the classroom community. Teachers can also use I Love My Hair! to reinforce curiosity about other cultures and to create a classroom setting that explores more about others!

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