Dalia's Wondrous Hair - Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
star 3/17/2014
One magical morning, Dalia awakes to find her hair has grown up toward the sky, "tall and thick as a Cuban royal palm tree." Throughout the day, to the shock of her neighbors, Dalia covers her wondrous hair with natural material from the environment around her in order to do something truly special, making for an imaginative story. She stuffs and squishes wild tamarind, coontie leaves and mud into her hair, turning it into a butterfly garden overnight. The mixed-media illustrations depict tender interactions between Dalia and the natural world, enhancing the feeling of whimsy. Further enriching the story is the appearance of flora and fauna specific to Cuba. The vibrant illustrations stretch across full pages, the deeply saturated colors and assured lines drawing readers' eyes across each spread. The placement of the bilingual text is a little sporadic, at times being side-by-side and other times above-and-below, but the presentation of the book overall is excellent. A bilingual author's note provides further information about the plants and animals referenced and presents instructions for creating one's own butterfly garden. A delightful account of one fanciful little girl's enchanted day in Cuba. (Bilingual picture book. 3-6)

Publishers Weekly
A rich, warm palette and paintings bursting with vegetation—both drawn from Lacámara’s native Cuba—add to the anything-is-possible atmosphere of this charming bilingual story about a girl who decides to do something special with her towering beehive of hair. Dalia asks her mother to guess what kind of tree she is as she packs her bouffant with leaves from the forest and mud from the swamp. Although Dalia’s ’do gets a tad icky (“Do you want me to take care of that?” offers a machete-wielding neighbor), the whimsical result is worth it. Ages 4–9. (June)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—One day, a young Latina girl's thick, black, wavy tresses stand straight up into the air. This might sound like a set-up for a bad hair day, but rather than being appalled or upset, Dalia happily makes the most of it. She proceeds to add items in her hair to look more like the natural surroundings, in hopes of resembling a special tree for her mother. The childhood appeal of this little girl interacting with nature will resonate with a broad audience, who will like Dalia. The Spanish translation is good, and it is just as enjoyable to read in English as it is in Spanish. At the end, the author includes a glossary of flora native to Cuba that are mentioned in the story. Additionally, there are some notes on how to create a butterfly garden. Lacámara's rich and colorful artwork beautifully complement the imaginative text. A fun and enjoyable read-aloud.—Maricela Leon-Barrera, San Francisco Public Library


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