By Sihle Nontshokweni and Mathabo Tlali and Illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne (Jacana)
Wanda is a little girl with a big beautiful head of hair. While her mother thinks her hair is ‘strong and beautiful like the clouds”, Wanda is scared the children at school will laugh at her and her teacher will say it is “a bird’s nest”. Everyday she rushes to school frantically, to tie it up before her teacher sees. Then one day she is late and the moment she dreaded happens: her teacher tells her to push it back with an Alice band.
Wanda walks home sadly and tells her Makhula (grandmother) her hair woes. Of course Makhula has stories to tell about other proud African women, like Diana Ross and Shado Twala, with hair in all different shapes and gorgeous styles. Wanda is amazed at how proud they all are. With a few tricks up her sleeve, her grandmother helps her tame her hair a little and still make her look like a queen.
A wonderful tale that tackles the touchy subject of school hair styles and self image. Wanda will appeal to any child who fears standing out or feeling ‘other than’. We need more books like this!