It is simply impossible for me to begin this book review without showing a picture of myself as a young girl because it’s all about the hair for me. Now, this happens to be my favorite picture of myself as an adult, but as a child I wasn’t thrilled with my mother’s fascination with my hair and picking it out into an afro. My sisters both have very textured hair as well, but mine seemed to require a lot more effort. In fact, my father ended up doing my hair more often than my mother because he understood the nature of it from his own hair.
This is my kindergarten photo from school and, as a young child, I truly hated when my hair was like this. It didn’t look like my mom’s hair, since she is German-Irish, and it felt different. I always felt different because of my hair. I longed to have hair like my mother because she could use a comb and start from her scalp and go all the way to the ends of her hair. This isn’t something that was ever a possibility for me. No comb has gone through my hair when it was dried, but I could style it wet and then it would morph into something akin to a Chia pet.
As an adult, I learned to grow to love it and manipulate it into various styles with a plethora of products. For the last 15 years I have been a natural hair advocate and refuse to have it chemically straightened anymore. I embraced it, but after much frustration and angst over how it seems to have a mind of its own.
Enter today’s book review: The Magic Poof by Stephen Hodges is, simply put, a masterpiece for girls with hair like me. It’s a story about a girl with hair that is magical and the complicated feelings she has about her self-esteem on picture day. Yet, like me, her hair has a mind of its own. Literally.
From the Amazon description:
Seven year old Ange-Marie has always felt different. Who wouldn’t when your best friend is literally attached to you? The Poof is a great ball of curly hair that sits directly on top of Ange-Marie’s head. His magical and playful nature always seems to produce mischief and adventure. In book one of The Magic Poof series, Ange-Marie must decide what to wear for school picture day. But The Poof also wants to look good for picture day! How does Ange-Marie look her best and keep her enchanted and hairy friend a secret? In the end, both The Poof and Ange-Marie find that compromise is the key in any friendship.
Ange-Marie reminds me of myself, but, more importantly, she views her hair as her best friend and little girls reading this book will start to see their hair differently. The Magic Poof is charming and hilarious from the point of view of any girl (or boy!) who struggles with being different and fitting in with others. Young girls with fantastic imaginations will adore this book and feel very comfortable in the beauty that makes them different.
I adored this book and hope little girls with their own magic poofs will read it in the knowledge that they truly are magical.
You can pick up a copy of Stephen Hodges The Magic Poof by visiting his website or you can use this link to purchase. There’s a Little Pickle Press discount if you order from his page that gives 20% off for the softcover and 30% for the hardcover.