Mira’s curly hair

by | May 27, 2019 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Book Details

Mira’s curly hair
Maryam Al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani, London: Lantana Publishing, hb, 978 1 9113 7361 2, 2019, £12.99, 32pp.
Picture book, fiction, 4-8 years

Mira’s hair is a riot of curls. Not what she wants at all. She would like straight hair just like her mother. But appearances are not always as they seem. When the rain comes down, Mira has a real surprise.

This charming story explores the close relationship between a child and her mother. It is not one-sided. Just as Mira learns that adults may not be quite as they present themselves, so the mother, perhaps, learns that her relationship with her little daughter can be even closer and joyful.

The text is clear and uncluttered set against pastel grounds that ensure accessibility – a feature that extends to the occasional decorative elements where the font imitates curls or hair that is smooth and straight. The illustrations are bold, direct and immediate allowing the reader to step into Mira’s world to share her predicament. Bright saturated colours, interesting perspectives, intriguing details combine to emphasise and suggest both aspects of Mira’s feelings and enliven the doublespreads. Toy soldiers, sailors and clowns mirror Mira’s active attack on her curls, while a flock of coloured birds swarm around her mother as her straightened hair is set free. This is a situation that manly young readers will recognise; the fact it is set somewhere in the Middle East only serves to acknowledge that families, mothers, children do not differ wherever they may live.

A lovely book to be welcomed in book boxes here and elsewhere.

Review by FMH