From a young age many black girls are taught to keep their hair always looking prim, pressed, and presentable–for fear of looking nappy or like “an orphan”. This standard causes many young girls to avoid pools, frolics in the rain, and high intensity play that might cause them to get sweaty and mess up their do’.
The standard to look fresh and salon styled doesn’t simply come from within the home, but also the media, who many times demonize the frizziness or bushiness of coarse hair types. Even olympic level gymnasts, Gabbie Douglas and Simone Biles have faced such criticism. At the peak of their careers where their talent and poise should have been at the forefront of headlines, instead attention was given to their sweated and ajar locs.
In Renee Simons Berry’s book, Here Comes The Rain, that stifling message is tossed right out the window when the spunky main character with long kinky midnight toned locs decides to blaze her own path despite her mamas warnings. She decides to ditch the hassle and have fun, which frees her mama to do so as well.
My girls absolutely LOVED reading this book. My oldest, who has golden tresses that loop and twirl at the ends declared with pride, that the main character is a “Curly Girl”, like her. When she sees characters in books or girls around town with even curlier hair than hers, she gets absolutely giddy. To her, the messier, bigger, and wilder, the better. She simply sees freedom and expression in every girl’s hair.
As a mother of two girls that I encourage to play, and play hard, this message about embracing your natural beauty, was such a welcome breath of fresh air. Yes, natural hair is a trend in the black community right now, but I believe that the overall message about being who it is that YOU feel led to be is the goal.
I cherish the fact that Renee found the words to describe a message that is so necessary for impressionable young women.
The illustrations in this book are absolutely adorable. The pencil sketches are accented with vibrant water color. The book itself is quite large as well and was really comfortable for my 1 year old to hold on her own. The glossy cover with a happy girl trotting in the rain immediately caught the eye of both my girls.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to add books with purpose but also beauty into their home library. This book could be used to spark conversation about differences, but is also just a sweet book that I think all kiddos would relate to. Who’s child doesn’t enjoy splashing around in the rain?
You can purchase Here Comes The Rain here and find out more about Renee Simons Berry here.