Crown: an Ode to the Fresh Cut

Okay lets, check off the boxes.

This is a picture book aimed at children ages 3-8 years.

You can get a copy of the book HERE.

It is written by well-known children’s author Derrick Barnes and the gorgeous illustrations are created by artist Gordon C. James who you can check out HERE.

This book is a Newbery Honor Book, a Caldecot Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.


It looks like this:



Got it? Good.

Now, if you do not immediately go to your library or to your bookstore of choice and grab a copy of this to read, then you are missing out. Barnes gives us a beautiful ode to the act of getting a haircut. His story is that of a young black man entering his barber’s shop (“the shop”) for his cut, but more than that, it showcases an act of empowerment. Barnes highlights an uplifting, bold and nostalgic journey from physically ordinary to psychologically extraordinary. The wording is sublime (this fabulous quote from page 5 is enough to empower any young mind):

“You’re a star.

A brilliant blazing star.

Not the kind that you’ll find on a sidewalk in Hollywood.

Nope. They’re going to have to wear shades

when they look up to catch your shine”


However, bring in Gordon C. James, and you have a work in your hands that is a masterpiece. The colours are wonderful, the art is masterful. Bold brushstrokes line every inch of the page; the expressions on the faces of people drawn are fabulous.

In short, (and in case you haven’t noticed), I think this book is a champion.


Please, please, please go ahead and take a read, it really will not take you long and you will laugh majestically at the extraordinary wording, which is enough to bring a smile to anybody’s face, and make the world a little brighter.







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