Magic Like That

By Publishers Weekly

Framed by a bespectacled Black mother doing her dark-skinned child’s hair, this affirming series of lyrical vignettes draws immersive parallels between a Black child’s varying hairstyles and myriad elements from nature: on each spread, her hair is variously compared to “regal pine trees,” “a million ocean currents,” “a bouquet of hydrangea blossoms,” and more. Doyon’s deservedly confident narrator employs a wealth of sensory and figurative language to describe her changing hairdos: “Piled high, it gathers together/ like billowing thunderclouds/ threatening to break loose in a sudden storm,/ releasing a cascade of relief and revival./ My hair is fresh like that.” A satisfying final-act turn reveals how the child can be anything, the hairstyles representing a queen, an explorer, a warrior. Bowers augments the text with vibrant digital spreads, centering close-ups of the smiling figure amid bright, expansive landscapes. Readers will revel in this glorious celebration of Black hair.

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