Written By: M.L. Marroquin
Illustrated by: Tonya Engel
For Ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: BIPOC Protagonists, Self-Esteem, Natural Hair, Imagination, Confidence, Family.
Summary: This beautiful ode to one girl’s natural and buoyant hair can only be matched by Tonya Engel’s impossibly gorgeous illustrations. Filled to the brim with confidence and curls, our main character struts through the world fully in charge of herself and her boundaries when it comes to others around her hair.
While some might see her hair as unruly, or think it should be managed by braiding or pulling back, the young girl assures everyone her hair is both gentle and powerful. It does not need to be contained, it’s perfect as it is. This book is monumentally important for all of the BIPOC (and specifically Black) people who are told that their hair is unprofessional, unruly, or any myriad of disgusting and racist derogatory language. Books like this for young readers not only instill a sense of confidence and self-esteem, but provides much needed mirrors as well. My Hair is Magic! is breathtaking and tender while filled with fearlessness by our narrator who is ready to tame the world rather than tame her hair.
This book was kindly sent by Page Street Kids, but all opinions are my own.
M.L. Marroquin is a reading intervention teacher and an emerging children’s author. Her debut picture book My Hair is Magic! follows the story of a young Black girl who loves her big hair despite those who want to contain it.
TONYA ENGEL is a self-taught painter and children’s book illustrator, including the pictures for Our Lady of Guadalupe and the jacket art for Hurricane Child. Her work is inspired by southern folk artists. Early in her career she explored abstract painting, but soon began to concentrate on figurative form mixed with emotion and expressionistic narrative. This art style was the perfect complement to Maya Angelou’s lyrical storytelling. Engel lives in Houston, Texas.