#blogbookaday: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

22 Jan

36442217Summary:  “The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: In a world where picture books featuring black boys’s experiences is severely lacking, this is a book that everyone library, school and barbershop should have available. This is a time-honored experience that many young black and brown boys have and to be able to see themselves in a picture book is a powerful opportunity to show that they matter. As the author states in the Note from the Author, “Deep down inside, they wish that everyone could see what they see: a real life, breathing, compassionate, thoughtful, brilliant, limitless soul that matters – that desperately matters. We’ve always mattered.” Check out Books with Barbers for a literary goal to provide barbershops with books for boys. Access to books is one of the most important aspects to creating lifelong readers and by providing books where boys are, you remove the barrier to access.

Personal Reaction: This is one of those powerful books about an experience that I will never have, but is so important to be available to the kids who experience a barbershop just like the one in the story. I gave the book to my partner to read as he had the experience of going to the barbershop with his dad and when he turned to the page with the apple green alcohol, he said to me, “I remember the smell of that!” Considering he’s had locs for over ten years and hasn’t been to the barbershop during that time, I found it so interesting that he could so clearly remember that scent.

Title: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Author: Derrick Barnes
Illustrator: Gordon C. James
Publisher: Agate Bolden
Publication Date: October 10, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


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