Grandma’s Hair Is Ankle Length/El cabello de Abuela le llega hasta los tobillos

Piñata Bks. May 2024. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781558859890. BL.
K-Gr 2–This bilingual text showcases the intergenerational relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter that is rooted in their Indigenous heritage. The lyrical text pays homage to the ancestral connection between the two protagonists and how their hair can carry a family’s history. The girl compares her abuela’s bun to the breakfast rolls she bakes, but most of the figurative language leans toward the ethereal. “When let loose, it falls over her shoulders like a towering waterfall tumbling down a mountaintop./ Cuando lo suelta, cae sobre sus hombros como una imponente cascada que desciende de la cima de una montaña.” The poetic narrative is filled with emotion and reverence, and the majestic art is its perfect complement. The grandmother’s hair is mostly white, while the narrator’s hair is brown. They both have brown skin. With each page turn, the elder appears to become integrated into the nature scenes, perhaps hinting at her passing on to unite with the ancestors. Through the course of the pages, the little girl’s hair grows longer and longer. The textured illustrations feel tangible and are made up heavenly blues, bright greens, and earthy browns. Icons from Mexican and Indigenous cultures scattered throughout, such as an owl, moon, leopard, and the girl surrounded in blue water looking very much like the Virgin Mary.
VERDICT A breathtaking, bilingual offering that can be used with countless themed story times and read-alouds. Shelve alongside Carole Lindstrom’s My Powerful Hair.

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